PHILADELPHIA, PA - The Caldwell College men’s basketball team earned a key Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory over Chestnut Hill College, 67-64 Saturday afternoon at Sorgenti Arena. The Cougars are now 8-5 overall and 4-2 in league play, while the Griffins drop to 4-9, 2-4 CACC.
Caldwell broke open a close game midway through the first half with a 10-1 run, punctuated by a dunk from sophomore forward Terik Bridgeman (Harlem, NY / Nia Prep), to lead 26-18 with just under seven minutes left in the half. The Cougars ended up taking a 34-28 advantage at halftime, with junior guard Wyatt Polk (Haddonfield, NJ / Haddonfield) scoring a team-leading 10 points in the half.
Chestnut Hill battled back early in the second half, cutting the deficit to two points four times in the first five minutes after halftime. But the Cougars scored nine of the next 11 points to build their largest lead of the game, 54-45 with 11 minutes remaining. The run was not enough to put the game away, as the Griffins responded with a 12-3 run of their own, capped by a three from Noel Hightower, to make it a one-point game, 58-57 with 5:45 on the clock.
Junior forward Michael Balkovic (Neptune, NJ / St. John Vianney) answered Hightower’s trey with a three-pointer, as the Cougars pushed their lead up to 65-59 with three minutes left. Chestnut Hill was able to come within two points following a pair of free throws by Christian Walck with 43 seconds to play. After Polk hit 1-of-2 from the line with eight seconds left, the Griffins’ final chance to tie the score came up short, as a three-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.
Caldwell shot 50 percent from the field for the game, including 54.5 percent in the second half, and out-scored Chestnut Hill in the paint, 44-28
Balkovic led the way for the Cougars with 17 points and seven rebounds
Polk had 15 points, six boards and two steals
Sophomore guard Dawan Lighty (Paterson, NJ / Kennedy) added 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists
Bridgeman grabbed a team-best eight boards to go with six points and two blocks
- The Griffins were led by Taylor Trevisan with 14 points
Caldwell takes on Post University on Wednesday, Jan. 8 in its third straight CACC game on the road. Game time is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. in Waterbury, Conn.