Messiah Moves Into First Alone With 71-57 Win Over Alvernia

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Grantham, Pa. (Jan. 25, 2012) - Messiah College (12-5, 6-1) used a 20-6 run over a seven-minute span in the first half to take control of the game and stayed ahead the rest of the way in a 71-57 win over Alvernia University (12-5, 4-3) Wednesday evening in Commonwealth Conference men's basketball action at Messiah.

Aided by a Lycoming loss at home to Elizabethtown, the Falcons move into sole possession of first place in the league at the halfway point of the conference schedule.  Alvernia is third, a game behind 5-2 Lycoming and a game clear of a three-way tie for fourth.  Albright and Arcadia are both tied for seventh at 2-5.

Alvernia jumped all over Messiah early hitting 3s and free throws to jump out to a 14-7 lead.  Messiah fought back to knot the score at 16-all on its way to a 27-20 lead with 6:22 left in the half.  The lead grew to eight by halftime, 33-25.

Messiah opened the second half with back-to-back, inside buckets from Jeremiah Runkle to extend to a 12-point lead, but the Crusaders were able to cut that in half getting a pair of 3s from senior Brian Nerney (Middletown, N.J./Red Bank Catholic).  Messiah took it back to 12 and eventually to 16 then led by double digits the rest of they way.

Nerney finished with 12 as did sophomore point guard Chris Davis (Norristown, Pa./Norristown) to lead the Crusaders.  Brad Bolen led the Falcons with 16, Runkle finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Derek Mosely scored 14.

Alvernia returns home to start the second cycle through the league Saturday with a doubleheader against Widener.

Messiah 71, Alvernai 57