McKeesport, Pa. – After facing one of their toughest loses of the season on Tuesday, the Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball team (15-7, 12-6) faces a quick turn around when they take on the Division III Chatham Cougars (15-8, 9-6) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. PSUGA is trying to get some momentum back on their side before heading into their final conference game of the season later this week.
It would be a battle throughout the night on Tuesday in a playoff like atmosphere inside the Wunderly Gymnasium. The teams battled to a 17-17 tie with just over eight minutes left in the first half before Shenango got the first advantage with an 8-0 run that gave them a 25-17 lead. They would hold that for the rest of the half and headed into the locker room up 34-25.
PSUGA would then put together a 52-point second half to try and make a comeback, but it wasn’t enough as they fell in the final seconds 81-77. PSUGA was able to cut a 34-25 halftime lead down to 66-62 with under five minutes to go, however, Shenango went on a late 5-0 run that made it a nine-point deficit with under two to play and Shenango finished 2-4 from the line to seal the victory.
PSUGA got a big boost in the second half from junior Makis Rivera (Pittsburgh, PA./Imani Christian Academy) who scored 13 of his career high 17 points in the half. Kenny Rouse (Duquesne, PA./West Mifflin HS) also played a big role scoring all 12 of his points as part of the comeback effort. Rivera would pick up a double-double on the day leading his team with 10 rebounds, his fourth of the season.
The loss makes PSUGA’s final conference game against PSU-Fayette on Friday into an almost must win game if they want home-court advantage. They need to beat PSU-Fayette on Friday and have PSU-Shenango lose one of their final two conference games in order to clinch home-court advantage.
Chatham enters Wednesday’s game on a hot streak having won three of their last four games as they too are battling for one of the top two playoff spots in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference. They pulled into a second-place tie with Westminster after pulling off a 75-71 come from behind win against Geneva on Saturday. The Cougars scored 49 points in the second half, led by a 16-point effort by Alex Schoppen, that gave them the victory.
Wednesday will mark the first time that PSUGA has taken on Chatham and the first time they have taken on an opponent from the PAC since they faced Westminster College on February 13th 2012. PSUGA would drop that contest 78-59 and have an all-time record of 0-2 against teams from the Presidents’ Athletic Conference.
Tip-off for Wednesday’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside the Wunderly Gym. You can watch all the action live at bit.ly/PSUGAYT.