McKeesport, PA. – After falling to PSU-Wilkes Barre on Monday, the Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball team (13-5, 10-4) kept their magic number to clinch a Penn State University Athletic Conference playoff spot at two. They will try to lower that number to one when they take on Penn State Beaver (12-7, 8-5) at 8 p.m. and possibly clinch a playoff spot with a PSU-DuBois loss.
PSUGA gave the top team in all of the PSUAC a battle throughout the night on Monday before eventually falling 62-56. After battling back and forth for the first ten minutes of the game, PSUGA gained the first true advantage going on a 13-0 run that extended their lead to 25-11 with five minutes to play. Wilkes Barre fought back into the game outscoring PSUGA 14-5 over the final five minutes and PSUGA went into the locker room ahead 30-25.
An 8-0 run extended the lead to 41-29 with 14 minutes to go in the game and it looked like they were poised to knock off the top team in the conference. However, the potent Wilkes Barre offense went on a 9-2 run followed by a 15-0 run to get their first lead of the game 55-51. PSUGA only managed five more points in the game and didn’t have enough in the tank to pick up the victory.
It was a big day for two of PSUGA’s biggest offensive threats senior Jordon Payne (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport HS) and sophomore Koran Fleming (Wilkinsburg, PA./Westinghouse HS). They each finished with 16 points on the day. George Prota (Elizabeth, PA./Elizabeth Forward HS) followed with 10 points and Mhonte Newsome (Baltimore, MD./Our Lady of Mt. Carmel) led the defense with 10 rebounds.
The win keeps PSUGA’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot at two meaning that a win on Wednesday combined with a PSU-Fayette loss would clinch a fourth straight trip to the PSUAC playoffs. Tyler Care and his team are keeping that out of their minds and taking it one game at a time.
PSU-Beaver is coming off a close loss to PSU-Fayette on Wednesday 69-65 that dropped them to third place in the division. Fayette had a slim 36-35 lead after the first half and were just able to hold off Beaver to hand them the loss. Jeremy Redwine led the way with 19 points and picked up a double-double with 10 rebounds while teammate Andrew Brady had the game high 11 rebounds.
Over 15 previous matchups, the two teams are pretty even with Beaver holding the all-time record sitting at 8-7 against PSUGA. Earlier this season, it was PSUGA that got the better of Beaver with a 81-76 overtime win. Antonio Hill (West Mifflin, PA./West Mifflin HS) had a career day with 24 points helping to lead his team to victory.
Tip-off for Wednesday’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.