Senior Marcel Souberbielle scored a team-high 17 points as the IUP men’s basketball team fell to Division I foe La Salle, 87-57, in an exhibition game Saturday in Philadelphia.
Souberbielle went 7 of 13 from the field and added three rebounds in 35 minutes, and Devante Chance added 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting while contributing five assists.
“I’m happy with the performance of a few guys,” IUP coach Joe Lombardi said. “Devante played a great game — he had five assists and no turnovers — and showed great leadership and great poise. Marcel’s performance on offense was good and he’s definitely emerging as a leader also.”
After trailing by 20 points late in the first half, IUP struck with a 6-0 run to get within 42-28 with 1:47 to play in the half. But the Explorers ended the half on an 8-0 run and took a 50-28 halftime lead. They went 7-for-10 from 3-point range in the first half.
IUP trailed by as many as 41 points in the second half before ending the game on a 22-11 run.
“We played a really good team,” Lombardi said. “La Salle finished 24th in the country last year, and most of their players are back. We faced a team a little bigger, a little more athletic and a little more experienced. We knew it would be an uphill battle with a quality team and the inexperience we have after two weeks of practice. But we’ll look at the tape and try to pull some good things from it and build on that.”
A preseason All-PSAC selection, Mathis Keita struggled in the preseason opener, going 2 of 16 from the field, but he contributed in other areas, collecting nine rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Devon Cottrell added eight points while going 3 of 5 from the field and added five rebounds while holding his own against the Explorers’ much bigger lineup.
“Devon did a nice a job defensively and rebounding even though he was giving away several inches and 30 pounds to some guys,” Lombardi said. “They had three guys at least 6-9 and 250 plus so they overwhelmed us around the bucket a little bit.”
IUP shot 34.8 percent for the game (23 of 66), including 4 of 22 from 3-point range. The Hawks committed just nine turnovers.
IUP visits Michigan State on Monday in its preseason finale.