OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Junior Cliff Cornish totaled 25 points and 14 rebounds as Stevenson University pulled out a see-saw 84-82 victory over Penn State-Berks Saturday afternoon at Owings Mills Gymnasium in non-conference men's basketball action.
Cornish finished 9-14 from the floor and 7-11 at the free throw line for Stevenson (1-3). Junior Cameron Hayes totaled 12 points, going 6-6 from the free throw line, while junior Tim McNeal added 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Penn State Berks (0-3) was led by Darren Major's game-high 38 points on 12-14 shooting, including 5-12 behind the arc. Baba Waples added 13 points for the Nittany Lions.
Stevenson trailed 39-36 at halftime but back-to-back baskets by Cornish and McNeal gave the Mustangs a 40-39 lead with 18:15 to go. The lead was short lived, as Matt Thompson put Berks back on top on the next trip down the floor. A layup by Cornish with 17:01 to play put the Mustangs back on top.
A free throw by freshman Mark Terrell with 14:23 on the clock extended Stevenson's lead to seven, 50-43, capping a 6-0 spurt. The Mustangs led 61-56 when a 7-0 run capped by a Major basket at the 6:19 mark put the Nittany Lions back on top, 63-61. Down 64-63, Stevenson took the lead for good at the 3:48 mark on a three-pointer by junior Steven Zink, and extended the lead to seven, 71-64, with an 8-0 run ended by five straight points by McNeal, including a steal and layup at 3:35 in which he also got fouled.
The Mustangs appeared in control, up 79-68 with 45 seconds to go following a Hayes basket, but Penn State Berks got eight points from Major, including a pair of threes, and whittled the lead down to three, 81-78, with nine seconds remaining. A pair of free throws by senior Michael Byrd with five seconds left made it 84-79, but a three at the buzzer by PSU's Nelson Hine accounted for the final.
The game's first seven minutes saw six ties before a 9-2 Penn State Berks run gave the guests a 19-14 lead with 10:53 to go in the first half on a layup by Charles Smith. The Nittany Lions took their largest lead, 37-30, with 2:15 left on a pair of free throws by Major, before Stevenson ended the half on a 6-2 spurt to pull within three at intermission. A tip-in by Cornish with 12 seconds to go made it 39-36.
Stevenson shot just 32.9% from the floor and 2-17 behind the arc, but took 19 more trips to the free throw line in a game that was marred by 65 total fouls. The Mustangs went 28-48 at the charity stripe while Penn State Berks was 15-29 at the free throw line, despite shooting 45.5% overall and 7-18 from three. Stevenson held a commanding 62-48 rebounding advantage and forced 23 Nittany Lion turnovers while giving the ball away just 12 times. The Mustangs had 11 steals on the afternoon, led by three by sophomore Korey Hayman Jr..
Stevenson enters conference play on Wednesday night when it entertains Albright College in an 8:00 MAC Commonwealth contest at Owings Mills Gymnasium.
Head Coach Gary Stewart talks about the team's 84-82 victory over PSU-Berks.