LOCK HAVEN After splitting two games on the road to open the season, the Lock Haven University men's basketball team returned to Thomas Field House Tuesday night to beat Penn State Wilkes-Barre, 95-53 in the home opener.
"It was important for us to have a game like this," said LHU head coach Mike Nestor. "Over the years, Penn State Wilkes has been a tough team. Talking to their coach, they have had some trouble this year, but two years ago, they went in (to Nelson Field House) and beat Bloomsburg."
Now with two wins in three starts, Nestor is still learning a lot about the personality of his team.
"They usually shoot a ton of threes and for a team that is as new as ours you don't know what to expect so don't think for a second that I wasn't a little nervous coming in to see how they would react," said Nestor. "For the most part, I liked what I saw. To get so many guys playing time it means something to me because those guys work very hard in practice every single day and they deserve playing time when they can get it."
This was Nestor's first on LHU's home floor. It was also the largest margin of victory (42 points) for a men's basketball team in the history of the sport at LHU.
"I didn't even think about that, but now that you mentioned it, it feels pretty good," said Nestor.
PSU opened with a trey and a deuce for a 5-2 lead, but that is when the Bald Eagles, on the strength of a half dozen points from Armandi Marshall, took a 10-5 lead four minutes into the game.
Marshall, who led the way in the first half, finished with 14 points and nine rebounds in his 21 minutes on the floor. While Marshall narrowly missed his double-double, Kasheef Festus got his with 16 points and 10 boards.
"My job was just to give us a spark to start us off early," said Marshall. "I know my teammates to the point where once I get going, I know they are going to get going. I just had to provide that energy and coach (Nestor) told me over the weekend that was my role and that is what I needed to do."
As for winning two of the first three games of the season, Marshall was quick to point out what that meant to him as well as his teammates who went through a winless season one year ago.
"It might not mean that much to the new guys, but to me, it really means a lot," said Marshall. "I have been here the past two years and only got one win, so trust me, to start off like this is a blessing."
PENN STATE WB (0-4)
Denzel Mensah 6-13 6-9 18; Greg Cooper 4-8 4-7 12; Bre'yan Jones 4-6 0-1 8; Jacob Bronder 3-3 0-0 6; Travis Dunlap 1-6 1-2 4; Drew Walker 1-6 0-0 3; Keith Johnson 1-6 0-0 2; Marquis Middleton 0-3 0-0 0; Jesse O'Connell 0-1 0-0 0; Will Danwah 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-53 11-19 53.
LOCK HAVEN (2-1)
HEPBURN, Wali 5-15 4-5 16; FESTUS, Kasheef 4-8 8-9 16; MARSHALL, Armandi 5-7 4-4 14; COOPER, Elijah 4-6 1-5 12; DICK, Hunter 4-6 0-1 8; GARCIA, Dave 2-5 3-4 7; HALL, Tyler 3-4 0-0 6; JOHNSON, Terrell 1-7 4-4 6; WALTERS, Nate 2-3 2-2 6; RIVERS, Andre 0-2 2-2 2; FORSTATER, Greg 0-0 2-2 2; VANOUTRYVE, Sander 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 30-66 30-38 95.
Halftime: LHU, 49-25. 3-point goals--PSWB 2-16 (Walker 1-4; Dunlap 1-6; Johnson 0-3; Middleton 0-1; O'Connell 0-1; Mensah 0-1), Lock Haven 5-16 (COOPER, 3-5; HEPBURN, 2-5; GARCIA, 0-2; JOHNSON, 0-3; VANOUTRYVE, 0-1). Fouled out--Walker. Rebounds--PSWB 30 (Jones 7), Lock Haven 48 (FESTUS, 10). Assists--PSWB 10 (Johnson 5), Lock Haven 17 (HEPBURN, 6). Total fouls--PSWB 26, Lock Haven 18. Technical fouls--none