McKeesport, Pa. – After picking up a rebound win their last time out, the Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball team (11-5, 8-4) looks to keep things rolling when they take on Penn State Lehigh Valley (4-10, 3-8) on Friday at 8 p.m. It begins a stretch of five games in nine days that will go a long way in determining where and if PSUGA will factor into this year’s Penn State University Athletic Conference playoff tournament.
The offense came back to life on Tuesday scoring 87 points on their way to defeating PSU-DuBois 87-70. The game was close for the first six minutes of the game as PSUGA held a slight 11-10 advantage with just over 14:00 left in the first half. However, the offense took off on an 18-0 run that upped the score to 29-10 just six minutes later. PSUGA would go into halftime holding on to a 39-22 lead.
PSUGA would essentially put the nail in the coffin at the start of the second half scoring seven of the first nine points to up the score to 46-24 and DuBois never got back within 15 points. Tyler Care got to clear his bench for the final five minutes of play and the defense held strong picking up the 87-70 win.
Mhonte Newsome (Baltimore, MD./Our Lady of Mt. Saint Carmel) continued his hot offensive streak leading the way on both sides of the ball with 20 points and 11 rebounds in the win. Jordon Payne (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport HS) added 19 points of his own while sophomore Jeiron Lewis (Glassport, PA./South Allegheny HS) scored a season high 11 points.
The win moved PSUGA to 8-4 in conference play as they pull into a second-place tie with PSU-Beaver in the PSUAC West Division. With seven conference games still on the schedule, PSUGA just needs to take care of their business and they will be able to clinch a spot in the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.
Standing in their way is a tough stretch of games that starts with Friday’s matchup against Lehigh Valley. Lehigh has struggled over it’s last five games with a record of just 1-4 including a 73-61 loss to PSU-Hazleton on Wednesday. Eric Johnson led the offense with 15 points and, after scoring his 1,000th career point the game prior, Jeremiah Jenkins followed up with 14 points.
In six previous matchups between these two teams, PSUGA has had the advantage winning five of the six meetings. Last season, it was Lehigh Valley that picked up their first win against PSUGA 94-70. Payne scored 11 points in that one while former Lion Khari Hicks led the way with 13 in the loss.
Tip-off for Friday’s game is scheduled for 8 p.m. and will be the second half of a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader. You can watch all the action live at bit.ly/PSUGAYT.