By The Daily Item
Bloomsburg started fast, but could not overcome a ferocious rally by Kutztown, falling 72-61 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East play on Saturday afternoon.
Bloomsburg stormed out to a huge early lead, starting the contest on a 28-7 run over the first 9:12 of game time to establish control. Charles Haigler put up 11 points to lead the Huskies during the first half while the team shot nearly 47 percent from the floor.
Kutztown roared back over the final minutes of the opening period, however, closing the half on a 21-6 run to cut the Huskies lead to 34-28 at halftime following a last-second basket by Elijah Jackson.
The Golden Bears picked up the second half where they left off before intermission, quickly closing the lead to just two at 39-37 following a 3-pointer by Ryan Connolly at the 16:47 mark.
A layup from Fred Dukes completed the rally to tie the score at 39 and a pair of free throws from Jackson gave the Golden Bears their first lead of the day at 41-39 with 15:08 to play.
From there, the Golden Bears never trailed the rest of the way. Bloomsburg closed to within a basket multiple times, but Kutztown responded each time. Kutztown shot just 28 percent from the floor during the opening 20 minutes, but hit on over 60 percent of its shots from the field during the second half.
Despite entering the day shooting just 65.3 percent from the foul line for the season, Kutztown was nearly unstoppable at the charity stripe on Saturday. The Golden Bears connected on 25 of 30 shots at the line, using its sudden foul line prowess to thwart any attempts by the Huskies to stop the rally.
Conversely, Bloomsburg had just 10 attempts at the line, connecting on four of those foul shots.
Haigler poured in 17 points to lead the Huskies and Dontahe Jordan added 11 points. Josh Johnson powered Kutztown with 17 points while Jackson posted 16 points.
The Huskies now stand 10-7 on the season and 6-2 in PSAC East competition while Kutztown improves to 6-12 overall and 4-4 in divisional play.
Bloomsburg remains in second place in the PSAC Eastern Division standings after a West Chester loss to division-leading East Stroudsburg on Saturday. Next up is a trip to Millersville on Wednesday night for an 8 p.m. tip off time.