Penny Dominates as Eagles Soar over Berea
WILMORE, Ky. - CJ Penny put up a season high 37 points and accompanied it with 16 rebounds to lead the Eagles to a 94-86 win over Berea Tuesday night. Lee'Vaughn Morris pitched in his own 15 points.
Kyle Lamb and Austin Flannery each added nine points for the Eagles who held a lead from the 11:35 mark of the first half until the conclusion.
The Eagles (9-4, 2-1 KIAC) looked a little off tilt early in the game, allowing the Berea (9-5, 2-1 KIAC) guards some easy layups in the early going. An early timeout from the hosts and coach Will Shouse settled the Eagles in and helped Penny get his game going.
Penny turned in 17 points before the half on 7-of-10 shooting. The Eagles as a whole shot 51.4% in the half. Despite outshooting the Eagles-- hitting 17 of their 30 first half shots-- Berea faced a six point deficit at the half.
The second half saw an uptick in tempo from both teams, and the players started getting up and down the court. The visitor's would cut the lead to just two near the midway mark, but the Eagles' starting five, plus Austin Flannery, had other plans. Each of the starting five hit a bucket and Flannery buried two threes to push the lead to double-digits over the next four minutes and change.
With both teams getting in foul trouble, the Eagles would coast most of the way by converting free throws and coming up big on the defensive end. Despite shooting just .500 from the charity stripe the Eagles converted enough to keep the lead and capture the win.
"I really felt like we played a complete team game, with a few lapses in their with team defense," CJ Penny said after the game. "We found a way to overcome some tough stretches and get some big stops and we came out with a big team win."
Penny's observations aren't far off when it comes to knowing this win came from a group effort. The Eagles collected 23 assists to Berea's 12 and collectively shot nearly 40% from beyond the arc.
Defensively, the Eagles caused 15 Mountaineer turnovers and held them to .333 percent from deep, including just 1-of-7 in the first half.
"With this being a conference game, it was definitely one we wanted to win, and we did that tonight," Penny added. "We want to try to win all these games [coming up at home] and this one is another stepping stone to the next one and hopefully the next one.
The Eagles are amidst a long home stand for conference play before hitting a long road swing. The Eagles get five more at home before going out on the road for seven contests. The next one for Asbury? Cincinnati Christian is welcomed into the Luce just two days from now (January 9th) at 8 p.m. for the second game of a men and women double-header.
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