Crusaders Close Strong In 66-58 Win Over Staten Island

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Reading, Pa. (Dec. 10, 2011) - Alvernia University (4-3) scored 11 of the game's final 13 points in a 66-58 win over the College of Staten Island (6-3) Saturday evening in non-conference men's basketball action at the Physical Education Center.

"That's the number right there," said Alvernia head coach Mike Miller pointing to CSI's 58-point total.  "They came in here averaging 75 points and we held them under 60.  That's going to be their low for the year."

Alvernia held CSI to just one layup over the final four minutes of play.  Sophomore Chris Davis (Norristown, Pa./Norristown) had a steal that led to a huge 3 from junior Josh Vargas (Allentown, Pa./Faith Christian) to put Alvernia up 60-56, and the Dolphins, who hit 52 percent in the first half, missed six of their last seven shots.

CSI senior T.J. Tibbs looked like he might get to 60 on his own knocking down shot after shot in the first half.  He hit the break with three 3s and 16 points and the Dolphins were up 31-27.

The Crusaders were facing an eight-point deficit with 90 ticks left in the first, but were able to cut that in half by the break on a free throw each from Vargas and Cory Boone (Howard, Pa./Bald Eagle) and a tip-in on the final play from Boone.

"I was thinking eventually he's gotta miss," said Miller of Tibbs' first-half effort.  "We weren't hedging right in the first half, but I think we cleaned that up in the second half and we tired him out a little bit."

Tibbs went 2-for-6 in the second half with just one 3 and finished with a team-high 22 points.

Vargas opened the second half with a bucket and knocked down one of his three 3s that capped a 13-2 Alvernia run putting the hosts up seven.

"He was very good," said Miller of Vargas who posted his second straight 20-plus effort with a game-high 23.  "He hit some big shots and got some loose balls.  Since we switched him to the 3 he doesn't have to handle the ball as much.  We found his spot."

His biggest spot Saturday was at the top of the key where, with 3:30 to play and a one-point lead, senior Brian Nerney (Middletown, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) kicked out an offensive rebound and Vargas knocked down a huge triple.

"Offensively he's in a spot where he's not thinking as much," continued Miller.  "He's just playing basketball, and that's good for us."

Magloire missed a chance at a 3 to answer and neither team scored until Davis hit one of two free throws with under a minute to play.

"That's a good win for us at this time of year," said Miller.  "We're healthy.  Boonie came to life in the second half."

Boone, who missed three games earlier in the season with an injury, finished with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and eight rebounds.

"And I gotta give it to our crowd," finished Miller.  "They've been good so far this year.  I need to hear more of that 'Boonie...Boonie' and I know we're all right."

Boonie and the Crusaders are now off for finals week and will resume the schedule in 18 days with a pair of games in Orlando.

Alvernia 66, College of Staten Island 58