McKeesport, PA. – After a week that saw the Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball Team (11-5, 8-4) go 1-1 including a big loss to PSU-York on Friday, the men dropped three spots in the weekly United States Collegiate Athletic Association coach’s poll to #14. It was a blow for PSUGA, but the men have a bend don’t break attitude as they try to make the Penn State University Athletic Conference tournament for the fourth consecutive year.
The loss came last Friday at the hands of Penn State York 82-50 that dropped the men to 7-4 in conference play. After a back and forth battle through the first six minutes of the game, it was York that got the first advantage of the game going on an 18-3 run to extend the lead to 32-17 with just over six minutes left in the quarter.
They would never turn back and held the potent PSUGA offense to just 25 points in each half leading to the loss. Senior Jordon Payne (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport HS) continued to lead the way for PSUGA putting up 14 points in the loss. The loss put PSUGA on their heels knowing they have some work to do over the final three weeks of the season.
That work began on Tuesday when PSUGA scored a huge 87-70 victory over a struggling Penn State DuBois team. After the teams traded blows early, PSUGA wasted no time going on an 18-0 run and leading 39-29 entering halftime. They would extend that lead to 56-44 with another 11-0 run in the second half that put the nail in the coffin and gave PSUGA the win.
Mhonte Newsome (Baltimore, MD./Our Lady of Mount St. Carmel) continued his offensive tear leading the way with 20 points and 11 rebounds in the win. Newsome has been in double digits in back to back games and is averaging just over 13 points per game in the month of January. The team has also profited from him being in the starting lineup with a record of 5-1 when he starts.
With three weeks to go in the season, PSUGA finds themselves in a tie for second place in the PSUAC West Division with rival PSU-Beaver. They have a one game lead over PSU-Shenango and lead fifth place PSU-Fayette by 3.5 games. If PSUGA can handle their business over the final three weeks, they will find themselves once again right in the mix in the PSUAC playoff tournament for the fourth season in a row.
The PSUGA Men’s Basketball team returns to action this Friday when they take on PSU-Lehigh Valley in the second half of a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader.