By DAVID VANTRESS email@example.com
---- — MIDDLEBURY – You’re probably not going to win many basketball games when you only score 10 points in the first half.
That’s the situation that befell Goshen Friday night as the Redskins fell to Penn, 64-34 in an NIC-NLC Shootout game.
With the loss, Goshen dropped to 4-4. Penn improved to 6-0.
For Goshen coach Brian Bechtel, the early struggles made the difference, as the Redskins gave up a 29-2 run at one point.
“Penn’s going to beat us 100 times out of 100,” Bechtel said. “They’re that much better than us. It was a learning experience for our guys … We didn’t fold our tents in the second half, and we played better.”
Leading by one at just 7-6, the Kingsmen closed the quarter with a 12-0 run to take a 19-6 advantage at the first stop.
Penn outscored Goshen 20-4 in the second stanza to take a commanding 39-10 lead into the locker room.
The Redskins did come out in the third period with some energy, scoring 11 points in the first 5:17. But Goshen still trailed Penn 51-21 with eight minutes to play.
Penn coach Al Rhodes said his team’s defensive intensity was key in helping build the big early advantage. “We were able to create some turnovers and turn those into points,” Rhodes said.
Goshen turned the ball over 19 times on the night.
Nathan Miller and William Doslak led Penn with nine points each. Jordan Geist, Ryan Lutz and Taylor Brooks added eight apiece.
Deric Haynes had 13 points to lead all scorers for Goshen.
Goshen plays another NIC/NLC Shootout contest tonight against South Bend St. Joseph at Penn. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. The Kingsmen take on Northridge at 7:30 p.m.
Northridge 65, South Bend St. Joseph 62
In the nightcap, it was Northridge over South Bend St. Joseph to improve to 7 -0, with the Raiders led by senior standout Nate Ritchie’s 40 points.
The Indians, with the contest tied at 9 midway through the first quarter, closed the stanza with a 10-5 run to lead 19-14 at the first stop.
South Bend St. Joseph led by as many as eight in the second period and took a 31-25 lead into the locker room at intermission.
Northridge was able to finally break through in the third, outscoring the Indians 18-11 over a five-minute stretch to take a 43-40 lead with about a minute left in the period.
But South Bend St. Joseph scored the last six minutes of the period in a furious stretch, and led 46-43 with eight minutes to play.
The Raiders again had a run in them, as they outscored the Indians 13-3 over the opening 3:44 of the final frame to take a 56-49 advantage with 4:16 left – and prompt a South Bend St. Joseph time out.
The Indians cut it to four at 58-54 with just under three minutes left in regulation. A Nate Ritchie layup off a fast break made it 60-54 Raiders, but seconds later, a Matt Gergely 3-pointerr cut it back to three at 60-57.
In the closing seconds, it was junior guard Pete Smith helping seal it for Northridge, with a layup and free throw.
Northridge coach Ronnie Thomas said his team came out flat in the first half.
“The guys were able to shake that off pretty well in the second half,” Thomas said
Ritchie’s 40 points were a career high, and the milestone was even sweeter for the Raider senior because it came in a win.
Ritchie was especially “on” from beyond the arc, as the Raider hit on 4-of-5 for 12 of his 40 points.
“I prefer to play inside, but if that outside shot’s open, I’m going to take it,” Ritchie said.
Ritchie said the second-half rally came from he and his teammates feeding off each other’s energy.
“It feels great to be 7-0,” Ritchie said.
In addition to Ritchie’s 40, the Raiders got 10 points from Smith and eight from Sam Ahonen.
South Bend St. Joseph was led by Matt Monsererez with 19 points.
Northridge takes on Penn tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Penn. South Bend St. Joseph faces Goshen, also at Penn in a 6 p.m. tipoff.
Follow sports editor David Vantress on Twitter at dvantress_tgn.