Men's hoops shines in Sunshine State

(Doug Sampson / Archived)
(Doug Sampson / Archived)

TAMPA, Fla. -- After a nine-day hiatus, the Heidelberg University men's basketball team ended its three-game losing skid with a 91-84 win on Friday night. The Student Princes held off The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth to take game two of the Tampa Bay Shootout.

Four Student Princes finished the night in double figures. Senior Kiere Bennie poured in 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds, going 8 of 9 from the foul line.

Chris Moxley (12 points), Myron Prewitt (10 points, 7 rebounds), and Prince Benson (11 points) were the other double-digit scorers for HU.

The Berg moves back to the .500 mark, evening its record at 5-5. The Corsairs slip to 6-4.

Heidelberg broke out to an early 10-point lead over the Corsairs. UMass-Dartmouth, who shot nearly 48% from three, used the long ball to chip away at the Berg's lead. With 4:33 before the break, Nick Bond drained a triple to cut the HU lead to 33-32.

Layups by Benson and Bailey Croft helped the Berg distance themselves from the Corsairs. James Hanley hit a 3-pointer with one minute to play in the period, with Heidelberg holding a 41-37 advantage at the half.

Up by five, the Student Princes used a 12-3 run that spanned just over three minutes to push the lead to 67-53. Bennie scored six of the Tricolor points during the run. It was capped off by a triple from freshman Phariz Watkins.

With eight minutes to play, UMass-Dartmouth battled back with an 11-2 run of their own. A 14-point Berg lead was trimmed to just six points with 5:54 remaining.

Jake Ashworth sank a pair of free throws, putting the Corsairs within three points with 22 seconds remaining. After free throws hurt Heidelberg in its last game, the Student Princes made crucial foul shots down the stretch to seal the victory.

Heidelberg shot nearly 51% from the floor. Despite comeback efforts, UMass-Dartmouth never led once in the contest.

All 11 Heidelberg players who entered the game scored.

"We had some very spirited play from everyone tonight, especially Mike Mason," said head coach Andy Bucheit, "He gave us an emotional spark that helped us in the second half."

Mason contributed four points and four rebounds in just seven minutes of work in the second half.

"Everyone was engaged from the bench to the floor and it was a fun game to be a part of," said Bucheit.

With a quick turnaround, Heidelberg will take on DePauw University -- winner of the last eight Tampa Bay Shootouts -- tomorrow afternoon. Tipoff of the championship match is scheduled for 3 p.m.