Mont Alto, Pa. - With a stand-out performance from sophomore guard Jordon Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport), the Penn State Greater Allegheny men's basketball team took a 88-85 nail-biter from Penn State University Athletic Conference adversary, Penn State Mont Alto, Friday night.
Junior guard Jeremy McMunn (Pittsburgh, Pa./Woodland Hills) dropped the first points of the game as Payne put up the next two. Senior forward Jumanne Butler-McDaniel (Franklin, N.J./Cardinal McCarrick) zipped up five as Payne nailed down back-to-back three-pointers, GA trailing 18-15 nine minutes into the game.
Junior guard Denzel Boyer-London (Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville) and senior forward Moe Alli (Edison, N.J./Cardinal McCarrick) laid on points in the paint as Payne blinded Mont Alto with ten-straight points in just over two minutes, 29-26. McMunn dropped two from the foul line before sophomore guard Juwan Ledbetter (Pittsburgh, Pa./Taylor Allderdice), junior forward Curtis Newby (Sharon, Pa./Sharon) and junior guard Khari Hicks (East Hills, Pa./Imani Christian Academy) added points from the floor, GA now ahead 37-34.
Hicks and Payne both added free-throws as Payne drilled a three to close the first half, Greater Allegheny in front 42-39.
Sophomore forward George Prota (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) dashed a free-throw before Alli added a jumper and McMunn hit a three, 48-45. Newby and McMunn both added four as Ledbetter continued with a three, 59-55. Prota, Ledbetter and Newby followed up with four each as the Lions extended their lead over MA to nine points, 71-62.
Alli denoted a jumper as Payne dropped five more. Ledbetter added two from the free-throw line before McMunn put up three outside the arc, 83-71 with three minutes remaining in regulation. Payne put up four foul shots in the final minutes as Ledbetter added one, GA taking the lead narrowly 88-85.
With the win, the men swipe their ninth-straight win, and tenth Penn State University Athletic Conference triumph.
Payne put up a game-high of 31 points, as the guard hit 58.9% (10-of-17) of his shots from the floor, 71.4% (5-of-7) from the foul line alongside six three-pointers. Jordon posted three steals and two boards. McMunn laid on 14 points with four boards and two steals as Newby added ten points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
As a team, Greater Allegheny was out-rebounded by Mont Alto 37-32 as the men managed 70.4% (19-of-27) from the foul line and 46.9% (30-of-64) from the floor. The Lions added 28 points off turnovers, 24 points in the paint and 22 points off second-chance.
Greater Allegheny (16-4, 10-1 PSUAC) looks onward to their next Penn State University Athletic Conference match-up, as the men are set to take on Penn State York on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.