McKeesport, Pa. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball Team (11-6, 6-3) dropped a heart breaker on Friday night when they fell to Penn State Mont Alto (10-8, 4-5) 76-56. The offense wasn’t there early on and they could never dig out of the big hole that they created.
The two teams would battle back and forth in a tightly contested ball game through the first five minutes of action. However, Mont Alto would be the one to find their groove first going on a 10-1 run to open up the lead to 14-6 with just over 11 to play in the first half. Things wouldn’t get better for PSUGA as they allowed another Mont Alto run, this time 7-3 and the deficit climbed to 13.
PSUGA tried to overcome the early deficit, but Mont Alto continued to pour on the offense scoring eight of the last 10 points to head into the locker room leading 46-27. Mont Alto did a good job of shutting down PSUGA’s key offensive weapon holding Jordan Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) to just two points in the first half. Curtis Newby (Sharon, Pa./Sharon HS) had 10 first half points and provided a lot of the offense for PSUGA not only in the half but on the day.
PSUGA tried to use the three-pointer to get back in the ball game as Kenny Rouse (Duquesne, Pa./West Mifflin) got hot from beyond the arc. Rouse hit two big three pointers early in the half to make it 54-37 with 14:46 to play. However, 20 points was the closest PSUGA would come to getting back into this one as their early missed opportunities came back to bite them in the second half.
Newby finished with a team leading 19 points and fell just short of another double-double finishing with nine rebounds. Rouse provided a spark off the bench contributing 13 points, nine of which came in the second half. Mont Alto was led by reigning PSUAC Men’s Basketball Player of the week Jalen Smith who finished with 25 points.
The loss drops PSUGA to 6-3 in conference play and sets the stage for a big matchup tomorrow afternoon with Penn State York. York also fell in their game tonight falling to Beaver to collect their third conference loss of the season as well. PSUGA now sits at 3-2 in the second half as they try to make a push to defend their PSUAC championship title from last season.
PSUGA will look to rebound in their game against York tomorrow as they continue a stretch of eight out of nine home games. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. as the second game of a Men’s and Women’s Basketball Doubleheader.