Hillsboro, Oh. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball Team (5-2, 0-0) split their weekend contests falling to Cincinnati-Clermont to start the weekend on Friday 97-81 and following that up with a big win against Southern State CC 98-77 on Saturday to get them back on track after dropping back-to-back games.
On Friday, PSUGA started off the night playing very well as they scored 38 points in the first half and went into the locker room up by three. However, it would be Cincinnati-Clermont that took control in the second half putting up 62 points, the most allowed by PSUGA in a single half this season, while PSUGA was able to put up 43 points and would eventually fall 97-81.
Jordon Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) has been almost a guaranteed 20 points per game this season and continued that trend on Friday leading the team with 23 points. George Prota (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) would finish behind him with 14 points while Khari Hicks (East Hills, Pa./Imani Christian Academy) put up 12.
Curtis Newby (Sharon, Pa./Sharon HS) picked up his fourth double-double of the season in the contest putting up 10 points and leading the team with 13 rebounds. Khari Hicks would creep closer to the PSUGA record for assists in a career as he led the team with four and finished Friday just 15 behind former Lion Denzel Boyer-London’s record of 297 over his four-year career.
After Friday’s loss, PSUGA had loss back-to-back games for the first time in 2017/18 and were looking to rebound heading into Saturday’s game. They came into the game with a little bit of an advantage as they were 3-2 against Southern State all-time entering the game on Saturday. The offense was performing well, however, they were looking for the defense to step up and get them back in the win column.
Their defense would do just that as they held Southern State to just 77 points keeping their opponent under the 80-point mark for the fifth time in seven games. However, it was once again the offense, and specifically Jordon Payne, that ruled the day. The offense was able to score over 90 points for the fourth time in seven games and maintain their 90 plus PPG average as they are sitting at 92.0 PPG.
Jordon Payne was able to break the single game record for the most three-pointers made in a game making 13 of his 17 attempted three-pointers on the day. He would finish the day with personal best 40 points, just two shy of the single game record, to go along with four assists and three rebounds on the day.
Payne was just one of three PSUGA members to finish in double digits as Makis Rivera (Pittsburgh, Pa./Imani Christian Academy) finished with 13 points and Koran Flemming (Pittsburgh, Pa./Westinghouse HS) finished with 11. Rebounds were hard to come by in this game as Mhonte Newsome (Baltimore, Md./Our Lady of Mt. Carmel) led the team with four on the day and Khari Hicks got just six assists away from the school record with a team leading nine in the second contest of the weekend.
PSUGA got back on track on Saturday getting themselves back in the win column sitting at 5-2 on the season. PSUGA has just one more non-conference game left before they head into conference play next Tuesday against Penn State Beaver. PSUGA is looking for all the momentum they can find as they try and defend their PSUAC Conference Championship from a year ago.
PSUGA’s final non-conference game before they start conference play will be Wednesday when they battle against Notre Dame College at 12 p.m. It will be their fourth game of this current eight game stretch away from the Wunderly Gymnasium.