McKeesport, Pa. – It came down to the final seconds of the game on Monday night, but the Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball Team (15-6, 9-3) picked up a big Penn State University Athletic Conference win defeating PSU-Beaver (7-15, 4-9) 70-67. Defense played a big factor in the win collecting boards and stopping some of Beaver’s best shooters.
It came down to the final seconds of this game when Kenny Rouse (Duquesne, Pa./West Mifflin) sealed the deal with two free throws to put this game out of reach with 1.6 seconds left on the clock. PSUGA got strong defensive performances from Juwan Ledbetter (Pittsburgh, Pa./Taylor Alderdice) and Curtis Newby (Sharon, Pa./Sharon HS) who finished with 10 and seven rebounds respectively. The seven rebounds were a season high for Ledbetter.
PSU-Beaver took control of the game early on hitting three consecutive three-pointers to make it 15-8 eight minutes into the game. However, PSUGA was able to slowly fight their way back into this game and took the lead with 1:02 left on the first half clock on a three-pointer from Jordan Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport). PSUGA would hold that lead heading into the halftime break sitting at 34-29.
Newby was only starting his big day with 11 of his team high 23 points coming in the first half. Payne hit three three-pointers in the half and was second on the team with nine of his 16 points. PSUGA would look to continue to play solid defense in the second half as they tried to hold on and pick up their ninth conference win.
Beaver’s Eric Gallupe had a big first half scoring seven points and it was Ledbetter’s job to shut him down for a majority of the second half. Ledbetter did just that only allowing Gallupe to score one point in the half and allowing his team to take advantage of the opportunities. Newby finished his strong day with 12 second half points and in the end, PSUGA would be able to pick up the 70-67 win.
With the victory, PSUGA moves to 9-3 in conference play and keeps pace with the other contenders in the conference. With another conference matchup tomorrow and a big game looming with current number two seed PSU-Wilkes Barre on Friday, this win was as big as ever as PSUGA tries to set themselves up for a deep playoff run to defend their PSUAC Championship from a season ago.
PSUGA gets right back at it tomorrow night when they take on Penn State DuBois as the second half of a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. and it will be the second of a stretch of four games in six days.