Tonawanda News —
AMHERST — Gerald Beverly finished two blocks short of a triple double — scoring 20 points, grabbing a game-high 15 rebounds and eight blocks — to lead the Daemen men's basketball team to a 111-90 win over Ohio Valley University Friday night at Lumsden Gymnasium.
The win was the Wildcats' (1-0) first official game as a member of Division II's East Coast Conference, and Beverly said after the game the team wanted to make a statement on its home court.
"We were feeling great. We wanted to come out and throw the punch — show that we weren't going to get beat in our opening game at home," Beverly said. "We wanted to make a statement and that's exactly what we did."
The Wildcats got a scare earlier in first half when senior point guard Mark Coppola left the game after suffering a shoulder injury on a fast break lay up attempt. He had x-rays done and, luckily for Daemen head coach Don Silveri, the injury was deemed only a sprain. Coppola should be back in a few weeks.
In Coppola's absence, senior Casey Sheehan led all scorers with 26 points, going a perfect 4 for 4 from long range. Sophomore guard Supreme Hannah stepped up for Daemen as well, scoring nine points and dishing out eight assists in a career-high 28 minutes.
Silveri was pleased with the play of his young guard.
"Coppola goes down and it's like, 'wow.' But Supreme Hannah did a real good job," Silveri said. "He had eight assists and made a couple big plays. When you play against Mark Coppola every day in practice — it's toughened him up a lot and made him ready. He's still got a ways to go but I thought he did a great job."
The Wildcats got out to a fast start and Beverly was the catalyst. The high-energy big man can get the crowd going with his high-flying abilities, and that's exactly what he did in the opening minutes.