As Lycoming's Malcolm Covington received the outlet pass, he raced down the floor and lobbed a perfect pass to a flying Kevin Anthony for a two-handed alley-oop that put Lycoming up by 12 over Commonwealth Conference leader Messiah.
It was that kind of execution and pushing of the ball that helped Lycoming put together one of its best performances of the year in a 81-73 win over the No. 17-ranked team in Division III in Messiah Wednesday night at Lamade Gym. It was the first time Lycoming beat a ranked opponent since 2008 when it defeated 25th ranked Elizabethtown.
"I think it was our most consistent effort for 40 minutes," Lycoming coach Guy Rancourt said. "As far as playing as a group I thought it was very good. The whole conference is so strong that its not common for a top tier team to be knocked off and we just need to continue everyday to put in that same effort forth and good things will happen."
Kevin Anthony of Lycoming begins the game with a dunk Wednesday vs. Messiah.
Good things happened on offense for the Warriors, as they shot above 53 percent from the field and 74 percent from the free-throw line. A reason why Lycoming shot so well was the constant push of the ball up the court. Time after time Lycoming caught Messiah napping and took a lay-up or an uncotested three.
Lycoming's point guard trio of Covington, Armani Taylor and Jourdan Wilson played especially well and were major catalysts in knocking off top ranked Messiah.
"That's our job, you know," Taylor said. "I know personally, if I'm not scoring I want my teammates to score, I'm sure that's how Jourdan and Malcolm feel as well. So we just been working together as a three, the three of us getting the ball to our teammates, Jourdan finishing when he can and Malcolm pushing the ball when he can and the coaches really emphasized that they wanted us to get the ball up the court as fast as possible because that gives us a better advantage."
Taylor received his first start of his collegiate career and looked like a veteran point guard who could run this team for years to come as he finished with a game and carrer-high six assists and just one turnover. The sophomore never looked rattled and dazzled with his pin point passing and under control ball handling. Taylor led a point guard trio that combined for 13 points and 13 assists.
Michael Rudy (18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks), Kevin Anthony (16 points, 8 rebounds) and Patrick Dougher (13 points, 6 rebounds) were all beneficiaries of the strong point guard play.
Rudy battled inside and played extensive time at center and flashed some strong post moves, Anthony ran the floor well and got some easy buckets in transition and Dougher lived on the three-point line as he hit three 3's.
In the process of scoring 16 points, Anthony passed Loyalsock and Lycoming graduate Will Kelly on the all-time scoring list, he also passed Dick O'Donnell to move into the top 20 of Lycoming's all-time scorers.
MESSIAH (16-3, 10-3 CC)
Scott Bolen 5-10 1-2 15; David Fernandez 5-10 5-6 15; Brad Bolen 5-18 5-6 15; Zac Hoy 3-9 4-4 11; Christyan DeVan 4-7 0-0 10; Taylor Groff 2-6 0-0 4; Josh Clippinger 1-2 1-2 3; Geoff Boyle 0-1 0-0 0; Ryan Shipper 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-64 16-20 73.
LYCOMING (9-10, 5-8 CC)
Michael Rudy 7-13 2-2 18; Kevin Anthony 7-16 2-2 16; Patrick Dougher 4-8 2-5 13; Jourdan Wilson 3-4 2-2 8; Justin Miller 3-3 2-2 8; John Monkam 2-4 3-4 7; Nykolas King 3-3 0-0 6; Malcolm Covington 2-5 0-0 4; Armani Taylor 0-1 1-2 1; Rob Pillow 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 31-58 14-19 81.
Halftime: Lycoming, 37-36. 3-point goals--Messiah 7-21 (Bolen 4-5; DeVan 2-3; Hoy 1-4; Groff 0-4; Bolen 0-5), Lycoming 5-9 (Dougher 3-5; Rudy 2-3; Pillow 0-1). Fouled out--Taylor. Rebounds--Messiah 28 (Brad Bolen 6), Lycoming 46 (Michael Rudy 11). Assists--Messiah 11 (Zac Hoy 5), Lycoming 21 (Armani Taylor 6). Total fouls--Messiah 17, Lycoming 18. Technical fouls--None. A-205