Schuykill, PA. - The Penn State Greater Allegheny Men's Basketball team (4-2, 1-2) dropped a close contest on Saturday to Penn State Schuylkill 69-67. After a slow start to the game, PSUGA was never able to fully recover and dropped their second conference game of the season.
PSUGA senior Jordon Payne (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport) fueled the offense early hitting three three-pointers to get his team out to a 9-4 lead six minutes into the game. Payne would add a fourth three and Koran Flemming (Pittsburgh, PA./Westinghouse HS) and Antonio Hill (West Mifflin, PA./West Mifflin) would add two points a piece to extend the PSUGA lead to 16-8 with 10 minutes before the half.
Schuylkill got themselves back in the game going on an 8-0 run tying things up at 16-16 just two minutes later. PSUGA would get two three-pointers to jump out to a 22-16 lead before Schuylkill would go off on a 16-2 run to head into halftime with a 32-24 lead.
PSUGA has been prone to giving up big runs this season and that is what killed them throughout the first half. Payne was the only player able to get the offense going with 15 first half points and he would look to lead the comeback effort in the second half.
The offense would get PSUGA right back into the game with runs of 5-0 and 7-0 to the things up at 38-38 with 15:04 left in the game. Schuylkill was able to create a little separation going on a 6-0 run moving the score to 46-40 with 12:45 showing on the game clock.
The teams battled back and forth over the next eight minutes of play, but PSUGA found themselves down 65-58 with just under 4:30 to play. Payne and Kenny Rouse (Duquesne, PA./West Mifflin HS) would lead the team on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 67-67 with 1:08 to go. In the end, it would be Schuylkill who hit the final shot with time running out to secure the 69-67 win.
Payne led the way for PSUGA woth 26 points in his second game back from injury. Mak is Rivera (Pittsburgh, PA./Imani Christian Academy) and Hill finished behind Payne with 11 points a peice. Rivera led the way with eight rebounds on defense and Hill had four assists.
PSUGA now falls to 1-2 in Penn State University Athletic Conference play after two tough loses early on. The offense showed spirts of success out scoring Schuylkill 43-37 but just didn't have enough to complete a comeback on this night.
The PSUGA Men's Basketball team is back in action on Wednesday when they take on PSU-Mont Alto at 8 p.m. as part of a PSUGA basketball doubleheader.