McKeesport, PA. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball Team (3-1, 0-1) is looking to get back on track when they take on Penn State Hazleton (3-2, 1-0) on Friday at 8 p.m. PSUGA dropped their Penn State University Athletic Conference opener on Tuesday to Penn State Shenango and is looking to find a way back in the win column this weekend.
It was a hard-fought game for PSUGA, but they fell short losing it in the final seconds of the game 67-64. PSUGA fell behind early in the contest as Shenango went on an early 10-0 run to take an 18-6 lead. PSUGA fought to get back into the contest, tying things up at 23-23, and heading into the locker room trailing 33-29.
The battle would continue in the second half with PSUGA tying things at 50-50 with just 7:49 remaining. The teams traded points for the next three minutes until it was 59-59 with 4:06 to go. However, Shenango would then go 4-5 from the free throw line and hit a big three-pointer with :04 to go to seal PSUGA’s fate and move them to 0-1 in conference play for the first time since the 2013-2014 season.
It would be Kenny Rouse (Duquesne, PA./West Mifflin HS) leading the way offensively and defensively with a 17 point/ four rebound night in the loss. Makis Rivera (Pittsburgh, PA./Imani Christian Academy) turned in his best game of the season to this point putting up 12 points in the effort.
PSUGA was without their leading scorer Jordon Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport HS) in their conference opener due to injury, however, they expect him back for this weekend’s games as they look to get back in the win column. With a long 19-game conference schedule for the 2018-2019 season, PSUGA still has plenty of time to makeup ground as they eye their fourth straight trip to the PSUAC playoffs this season.
Penn State Hazleton enters Friday’s contest on the other side of the coin coming off of a win in their conference opener against Penn State Brandywine on Tuesday 68-62. The game was close throughout with Hazleton holding a slim 29-27 lead as the teams broke for the locker room. Hazleton would continue to hold their advantage in the second half and a layup by Shay Nelson with nine seconds to go sealed the deal and gave Hazleton their first conference win of the season.
Brandon Mohammed led the way for Hazleton with 17 points and 14 rebounds off the bench in the victory while Nick Nowak chipped in 13 points of his own. Hazleton was efficient from the floor in this one shooting just over 38% while shooting 26.4% (4-15) from beyond the arc.
PSUGA has had Hazleton’s number in seven previous matchups with a record of 5-2 over that time. Last season, PSUGA got the better of Hazleton picking up a 76-70 come from behind victory on the road. Payne led the way with 19 of his team high 30 points aiding a 42 point second half comeback.
Tip-off for Friday’s game is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Penn State Hazleton. There will be a live stream provided by PSU-Hazleton and you can watch by clicking here.