On a night filled with star performances senior Justin Ball stole the show early recording his 1,000th career point. Ball and fellow senior Adaku Anumu helped lead the Principia Panthers to a wild 102-98 victory over Iowa Wesleyan.
The magical moment came early in the game. The Panthers jumped out to hot a start on a 3-pointer from Anumu. Freshman TreVaughn Goodman then took over, scoring on back-to-back possession. At the 16:26 mark sophomore point guard Micah Paulson found Ball in the lane who turned toward the basket and dropped it in forcing a timeout from the Tigers and nabbing point number 1,000. Ball is the first Panther player to reach the exclusive club since Kenny Sydness did it three years ago. Ball received a warm ovation from the home crowd.
After the hot start the Panthers continued to pour it on. The lead hit double digits at the 14:01 mark when Anumu cashed one of his five first half three-pointers. The Panthers maintained the lead over the next five minutes with steady contributions from Paulson, Goodman, and Anumu. The lead hit its peak when Goodman got fouled while making a layup, which ignited the crowd. The last stretch of the first half saw the Panthers struggle defensively as they let the Tigers crawl back into the game. The Panthers did manage to maintain a slim lead and went to halftime leading 49-45.
Anumu started off the second half where he ended the first nailing a deep ball on the first possession of the half giving the Panthers a 7-point lead. The Panthers took a double-digit lead again when Ball threw down a dunk, putting the crowd into a frenzy. The lead peaked in the second half at 14 when Paulson, who exploded in the second half, hit a tough layup in the paint. Over the next few minutes the Panthers played steady ball but at the 4:56 mark the Tigers cut the lead to five. Paulson responded with a jumper to stop the run.
Goodman and Paulson continued pouring in buckets after the run and with 36 seconds left the Panthers had a 13-point lead. Iowa Wesleyan wouldn't go down easy though and hit a barrage of layups and deep balls cutting the lead to four with nine seconds left. Paulson hit a pair of clutch free throws to seal the game giving the Panthers a 102-98 victory and season sweep over the Tigers.
The Panthers were led by Anumu who had 31 points on 7-9 from three-point land. Paulson had 26 to go along with 7 assists. Goodman added 25 of his own while only missing one shot from the field. Ball had a double-double scoring 12 while grabbing 10 rebounds.
Up next the Panthers hit the road to take on Blackburn in a crucial conference battle.
STORY COURTESY OF PRINCIPIA COLLEGE SPORTS INFORMATION