Vulcans upset Bloomsburg, 80-74
LATROBE – There’s nothing like opening the season with an upset win.
California University’s men did Friday night.
In a battle of PSAC heavyweights, California stopped East Division favorite Bloomsburg, 80-74, in the first game of the 14th annual St. Vincent College Invitational.
The Vulcans will face St. Vincent, a 77-58 winner over Daemen, in today’s 8 p.m. title game.
“We made a lot of mistakes but they’re correctable,” said California coach Bill Brown.
Tom Frederick, Ryan Boles and Sharif Brown combined for 42 points to lead the Vulcans.
Frederick, a 6-7 junior transfer from Morgan State, had a team-high 18 points, with Boles and Brown, both sophomores, each contributing 12 points.
With Bloomsburg’s Aaron Carter pouring in 22 points in the first half, the Huskies rallied from deficits of 8-0 and 26-14 to knot the score at 39 at intermission.
The second half was a different story.
The Vulcans started with an 18-0 run in the opening five minutes and defensed Carter.
Carter, who made 10 of 14 shots in the opening 20 minutes, didn’t score again until sinking two free throws with 6:31 remaining. By that time, the Vulcans were up by a commanding 14 points, 72-58.
Carter, who finished with a game-high 32 points, missed five of seven shots following intermission.
“We tried to keep fresh people on him the second half,” said Brown. “He played 38 minutes and we did a better job of containing him.”
With Aaron Brown, the coach’s son, pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds, the Vulcans outrebounded the Huskies, 38-25.
“Holding them to one shot helped,” said Brown.
After shooting 53 percent (17 of 32) from the floor in the first half, Bloomsburg made 12 of 37 in the final 20 minutes.
California shot 50 percent (13 of 26) in the first half and 51 percent (14 of 27) in the second.
Sophomore Gerrmar Ballard came off the bench to score 13 points, with Ishmieal Kamara adding 10.
The Vulcans had 17 turnovers, five more than the Huskies.
“We have to do better in that department,” said Brown. “We have a lot of room to improve.”
“It was a good win and important to start out like this, but we know we have to deal with them again on their court,” he added.
LEFTOVERS: Sharif Brown had eight assists and five turnovers. The Vulcans’ Ryan Stefanski hit his first two three-pointers in the first half. Aaron Brown played a team high 32 minutes, two more than Kamara. Frederick was five of seven from the floor and eight of 10 at the foul line. The Vulcans converted 20 of 26 free throws compared to 10 of 14 for Bloomsburg. Chris Willams, a 6-4 junior, poured in a game-high 23 points in St. Vincent’s opener. Daemen fell to 2-3. St. Vincent has won seven of its last eight tourneys. Cheyney copped the event in 1999.