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Strong Second Half Powers Neumann Past Mighty Macs

 

                         (Chapmand Left, McHugh Center, Pierkarski Left, Immaculata)

ASTON, Pa. - The Immaculata men's basketball team drew within three of the reigning Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) champion Neumann at halftime Wednesday night, but a powerful second half performance from the Knights resulted in a 95-68 defeat. Asa Kitchen led the four Mighty Macs to get into double figures on the night with 13 points, while Mike Piekarski (St Elizabeths) contributed 12 points and eight rebounds.

Jordan Ambrose and Jeffrey Powell-Young contributed ten points each in the midweek matchup.

HOW IT HAPPENED
-Piekarski was the first to get IU on the board in the contest - the first of ten in the first half for the junior guard - to disrupt an 8-2 Neumann (8-2, 3-1 CSAC) run to start the game. The Macs were able to get right back within one possession on Piekarski three followed by Matt Krewson's layup.
-After two Ambrose free throws to make it a one-point game, Josh Singleton gave Immaculata its first lead of the game with a lay in at the 13:34 mark of the opening half.
-The Macs then stretched the lead to five on a Piekarski jumper and a Kitchen tip-in, setting up a back-and-forth battle for the lead with under six minutes remaining.
-Although Neumann would battle back to regain a slim advantage, a Will Chapman (Concord) steal set up a Joe McHugh's (Concord) jumper to make it a three-point lead in IU's favor.
-Neumann found its rythym yet again with a 10-2 run in the closing seconds of the half, but a pair of Kitchen free throws kept the Macs right in the thick of the battle at 37-34. The first half saw four ties and four lead changes, while the Macs held the advantage in both points off the bench and off of turnovers.
-The Knights took control in the second half with a 19-5 run spanning nearly five minutes - due in large part to shooting 22-of-39 (56.4%) from the field. Kitchen provided nine points in 13 minutes of action in the final period to lead the Macs, while Ambrose chipped in eight of his own.

KEY TEAM STATS
-IU shot 26-of-80 (32.5%) from the field, while Neumann was 35-of-72 (48.6%).
-The Macs were just 2-of-18 from three up against the Knights' 7-of-20 night.
-Both sides found success at the line, with the Macs connecting on 14-of-20 at the stripe (70%).
-Neumann narrowly held the advantage on the boards, 54-45.
-The Macs forced the Knights into 13 turnovers compared to IU's nine.

KEY PLAYER STATS
-IU Point Leaders: Kitchen 13, Piekarski 12, Ambrose and Powell-Young 10
-IU Assist Leaders: Piekarski 4, Chapman 3, Ambrose 1
-IU Rebound Leaders: Piekarski 8, Ambrose 6, Singleton 5

UP NEXT
The Macs (4-6, 1-3 CSAC) return to action Saturday at Alumnae Hall to take on Gywnedd Mercy in CSAC play. Tip off is scheduled for 3 p.m.


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