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Men’s Basketball Starts Title Defense in Conference Opener

Men’s Basketball Starts Title Defense in Conference Opener

McKeesport, Pa. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball Team (5-3, 0-0) officially starts their Penn State University Athletic Conference title defense when they open conference play Tuesday against Penn State Beaver (1-4, 0-0) at 8 p.m. They finished last season 14-2 in conference play and are looking for similar success in 2017/18.

The Men’s Basketball team has already made a lot of noise this season through their first eight games of the year. It started when they won their first four games in a row for the best start in PSUGA Men’s Basketball history. Then, Khari Hicks (East Hills, Pa./Imani Christian Academy) eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career in the game against Point Park on the same night that PSUGA picked up their first win against a Division II school in program history.

On Tuesday, PSUGA has a chance to see some more history as seniors Khari Hicks and Curtis Newby (Sharon, Pa./Sharon HS) are both approaching career milestones. Hicks is just one assist away from tying the PSUGA All-Time record for career assists. He recorded five last time out and now sits at 296 for his career and tries to jump former Lion Denzel Boyer-London’s record of 297.

Curtis Newby enters Tuesday’s contest just 24 points away from 1,000 points for his collegiate career combined between his time with PSUGA and CCBC. He came over to PSUGA from CCBC in his sophomore season with 158 points under his belt and has scored 818 in his PSUGA career. Newby would be the second player this season to reach 1,000 points in his collegiate career.

After winning their first four games, PSUGA has hit a little bit of a rough spot going 1-4 in their last four contests. Their last time out, they fell to Division II Notre Dame College 93-87 in their last non-conference game before the start of conference play. It was the third Division II college that PSUGA faced this season as they have a record of 1-2 in those matchups.

Jordon Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) continued his offensive success in the game as he scored 30 points marking the third time in the last four games that he scored 30 or more points. The two-time PSUAC Player of the Week Award winner has been on fire this season and he is also approaching 1,000 points in his PSUGA career sitting just 47 points away.

Kenny Rouse (Duquesne, Pa./West Mifflin) also had a big day putting up a career high 16 points in the contest. Rouse continues to perform well off of the bench this season as he is averaging 9.0 PPG, second among PSUGA bench players this season.

Penn State Beaver has not seen the success that PSUGA has seen early on as they come into the contest just 1-4 in their first five games. Their last time out was a loss against Division III Saint Vincent College 86-66. Penn State Beaver has seen a lot of the Division III Presidents’ Athletic Conference as four of their first five games have been against the PAC.

Jon Foster led Penn State Beaver offensively putting up 23 points on the day and also led the team in rebounding with nine on the day. DJ Austin led the team in assists collecting seven on the day.

This has been a back and forth matchup all-time as PSU-Beaver has an 8-4 record all-time against PSUGA. However, PSUGA has been finding the success lately as they swept the season series in 2016/17 picking up 75-59 and 68-62 wins.

Tip-off for the men’s half of Tuesday’s double-header is scheduled for 8 p.m. in the Penn State Beaver Gymnasium and Wellness center located in Monaca, Pa. If you can’t make it out to the game you can follow along live by clicking here.