McKeesport, Pa. – With less then one week of games left in the regular season, the push for the Penn State University Athletic Conference Playoffs starts now. The Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball Team (15-6, 9-3) are aiming for one of the top three seeds as they take on Penn State DuBois (10-12, 7-6) on Tuesday night at 8 p.m.
As it stands right now, PSUGA is sitting as the number three seed in the PSUAC. However, with a big game looming on Friday with second place Wilkes Barre, PSUGA could see themselves move as high as the number one seed by seasons end. They were able to successfully keep pace with the other PSUAC members on Monday picking up a hard fought 70-67 victory over Penn State Beaver.
Curtis Newby (Sharon, Pa./Sharon HS) led the way offensively scoring 23 points on the day and collecting his 12th double-double of the season with 11 rebounds. Jordon Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) continued his success from three-point range going hitting four on the night and scoring 16 points.
This game would literally come down to the final second as with 1.6 remaining in the game, Kenny Rouse (Duquesne, Pa./West Mifflin) hit two free throws to put the game out of DuBois’s reach. The defense held strong in this one keeping their opponent under 70 points in back-to-back games. The effort was led by Juwan Ledbetter (Pittsburgh, Pa./Taylor Alderdice) who collected a season high seven rebounds on the day and held one of the top shooters for Beaver to just one point in the second half.
The win moved PSUGA to 15-6 on the season and 9-3 in conference play as they have now won their last four games since dropping a heart breaker to PSU-Mont Alto. During the current four game winning streak, they have held opponents to a 72.0 PPG average while scoring 88.5 PPG.
PSU-DuBois enters this game coming off a close victory over PSU-New Kensington 63-59. They were led by Tristan Pierce and Hezekiah Hopkins who scored 18 and 16 points respectively. Pierce is one of the top scorers not only for PSU-DuBois but in the entire PSUAC as well as he is currently ranked fifth in PPG with 19.9.
Since the 2011/2012 season, this matchup is tied with each team having seven wins in the 14 games the teams have played. However, PSU-DuBois got the win earlier this season over PSUGA 80-74 to close out the first half. Pierce scored 22 points in that game and Jeremy McMunn was one of only three PSUGA players to reach double digits with 16 points.
Tip-off for Tuesday night’s game is scheduled for 8 p.m. and will be the second half of a Men’s and Women’s Basketball Doubleheader.