Oskaloosa–William Penn Men’s Basketball Coach John Henry became the winningest coach in program history as the Statesmen won a battle of first-place teams, defeating Graceland 93-84 in Heart of America Athletic Conference Saturday.
Henry claimed win #320 (320-187, .631 winning pct.) to pass Leon Richardson for first place at William Penn. The skipper, who took over the team seven games into the 2001-2002 season, has built WPU into one of the best teams in the NAIA. Under Henry, WPU has had five regular season league titles, five tournament crowns, and six national tournament appearances (one runner-up finish).
#4 WPU (12-2, 8-2 Heart) took care of the Yellowjackets (10-4, 7-3 Heart) by outshooting (51.5%-42.9%) and outrebounding (42-30) the visitors. The victors also established another record as they were a perfect 17-for-17 at the free-throw line (previous free-throw percentage record was 16-for-17–94.1%).
William Penn fell behind 8-4 early, but took the advantage for good at 12-11 to start a 12-0 run. The Statesmen made another push late in the first half to lead 46-31 at intermission.
The home squad was in control throughout the second half with the Yellowjackets only able to close within eight points twice in the final six minutes. WPU put the contest away with one more 9-1 run and cruised from there.
Torren Jones (Sr., Chandler, Ariz., Sociology) had a tremendous outing in the post with a double-double of 32 points (12-for-17 FG) and 17 rebounds.
Jarvis Haywood (Sr., Charlotte, N.C., Business Management) scored from all over the hardwood as well with 25 points, including three three-pointers.
Lionel Ellison (Sr., New Orleans, La., Kinesiology) nearly missed double figures with nine points in addition to six assists and three steals. Elijah Williams (Jr., Chicago, Ill., Physical Education) contributed eight points in his first home game in the navy and gold, while Corbin Medley (Jr., Rogersville, Mo., General Accounting) managed seven points and Brandon Trotter (Jr., Louisville, Ky., Kinesiology) finished with six.
“We played pretty well for most of this game,” Head Coach John Henry said. “We got sloppy late, but held on to win. That is a very good Graceland team we beat tonight. Torren and Jarvis showed again that they pretty darn good players.”
Next Up: William Penn travels to Dubuque Monday to face Clarke in Heart action at 7:30 p.m.
Story provided by Wade Steinlage