Tyler Sablich (@TySablich)
Thanks in part to a 16-3 run following halftime, Imhotep rallied to beat St. Joe’s Prep 61-56 in the second game of the Famjuice Kyle Lowry Tip-Off Classic at Philadelphia University.
Senior Brandon Austin, a Providence commit, led an Imhotep scoring attack with 25 points on 5-for-11 shooting, including 2-for-4 from three-point range.
“I feel good. My team came out there and played hard,” Austin said. “We knew (St. Joe’s) would try and shoot a lot of three’s, so we just tried to contain the game and run them off the line.”
The Panthers were trailing by nine at halftime following 16 first half points by Hawks senior Steve Vasturia. However, Imhotep came out of the intermission with a newfound sense of energy, taking control of the game and never looking back.
“We were just motivated coming out of the locker room,” Austin said. “We made some switches to the 1-3-1. (St. Joe’s) was struggling with it so we just kept it up throughout the game.”
Vasturia, a Notre Dame commit, led all scorers with 26 points in a losing effort for Speedy Morris’ Hawks.
“(Leading all scorers) doesn’t mean much after a loss,” Vasturia said. “We gotta keep getting better every game.”
Other than the necessary adjustments at the half, perhaps the most prominent reason as to why the Panthers were able to steal a win away from Prep was the struggling shooting night of Hawks senior Miles Overton. Overton, a Wake Forest commit, shot off-target for the majority of the game, scoring just ten points.
Imhotep’s strategy to contain Prep’s two prolific scorers seemed to work for Overton, but not Vasturia.
“They’re both very good shooters,” Austin said. “We were just trying to get up in them and make them uncomfortable throughout the game.
Vasturia said that it’s tough opponents such as Imhotep that may prepare him for his Notre Dame days.
“We’re just trying to focus on this year,” Vasturia said. “With the tough Catholic League and a game like this, I think that’ll really help.”
While Overton had a quiet night from the field, Austin and Vasturia certainly didn’t disappoint.
“(Austin) is a great player, so it was fun to battle with him,” Vasturia said. “You gotta give him credit.”
Coming off the win, Imhotep will next face La Salle on Wednesday Dec. 12. St. Joe’s Prep will look to get back on track against Shipley on Tuesday Dec. 11.