WCU hoops on a roll and leading the PSAC East

Matt Leon
January 30, 2019 - 11:31 am
Damien Blair is in his tenth season as West Chester University's men's basketball coach.

Scott Rowan


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Division II West Chester University Golden Rams are one of the hottest teams in the region these days.

Heading into a Wednesday night home game with the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, the Golden Rams sit at 15-5, they lead the PSAC East with a 10-2 conference mark, and they have won nine games in a row.

"We're just trying to get better every day, and hopefully we continue to play good, sound basketball," West Chester head coach Damien Blair said.

This winning streak comes after a bit of an up-and-down start to the season for the Golden Rams as they went 6-5 through their first 11 games. 

"Our point guard, Matt Penecale, got hurt in the first game in the first half and was out for four or five games," Blair said. "It definitely knocked us off balance. We had to play our back-up point guard. We actually moved our two and our three guard to the point guard position. We struggled to find ourselves. When (Penecale) got back, we got back to playing West Chester basketball and doing the things that we do in order to win games."

West Chester can really score the basketball. They average 82.6 points per game, and they have two players pouring in more than 15 points a night. Senior forward Jackson Hyland paces the team at 17.5 points per game with junior guard Malik Jackson checking in at 15.2 points per night. 

"They first bring experience on both ends of the floor," Blair said of Hyland and Jackson. "Jackson and Malik have been playing since they were freshmen. They can guard multiple spots. On the offensive side of the floor, they score in different ways. (Hyland) can hit a three. He's probably one of the best finishers in the country. (Jackson) is probably one of the best shooters in the country. So we expect a lot from them."

West Chester's Wednesday night game with he University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown gets underway at 7:30 pm.

Follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleon1060.