McKeesport, PA. – The #18 Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball Team (7-4, 4-3) has been hot as of late winning each of their last three games. They look to keep this recent string of success going when they go on the road to face Penn State New Kensington (6-6, 2-4) on Saturday at 3 p.m. After sitting in fifth place in the Penn State University Athletic Conference West Division just three weeks ago, the men have turned it around going on their season high win streak and jumping up to third place in the division.
Their last time out was a nail biter when they defeated PSU-Fayette 78-74. It was a dog fight early on with the teams going blow for blow with each other throughout the first half and it would be PSUGA that held the slight 35-34 advantage as the teams broke for the locker room. After trading the first 11 points of the quarter to tie things at 40-40, PSUGA found the offensive break they were looking for.
PSUGA went on a 13-0 run to jump their lead to 53-40 and their defense took over never allowing the roaring lions to get within four points of a comeback. PSUGA saw another big offensive night from senior Antonio Hill (West Mifflin, PA./West Mifflin HS) who led the way with 18 points in the game. Hill has stepped up so far in 2019 scoring 24 and 18 points respectively and providing another big offensive weapon while teams focus on top scorer Jordon Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport HS).
Makis Rivera (Pittsburgh, Pa./Imani Christian Academy) followed Hill picking up a double-double while finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Wednesday’s win marks the first time this season that PSUGA has picked up a victory while scoring less then 81 points. The defense played a big role holding Fayette to less then 70 points up until the final 20 seconds of the game.
As the PSUAC playoff races start heating up, PSUGA finds themselves in a good spot as they try to make their fourth straight trip to the tournament. They currently hold on to the number three spot in the West Division tied with Penn State Shenango sitting at 4-3. With only the top four teams from each division making the tournament and 11 conference games still looming, PSUGA will look to keep handling their business as the race comes down to the wire.
PSU-New Kensington comes into Saturday’s contest on the opposite side of things having lost each of their last two games including a 92-68 loss to Beaver on Wednesday. New Ken was only able to muster 26 first half points and couldn’t catch up to the high powered Beaver offense. New Ken was led by a 19-point effort from Brent Ivory followed by a 16-point showing from Jakob Richardson.
In 11 previous matchups, PSUGA has had the advantage with a record of 7-4 against PSU-New Kensington including a sweep of the season series during the 2017-2018 season. After picking up a 77-61 win at home, PSUGA would go on the road to put up 107 points in a 107-93 shootout at New Kensington.
Tip-off for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 3 p.m. on the campus of Penn State New Kensington.