McKeesport, PA. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Basketball Team (16-9, 13-6) got the momentum they were looking for heading into the playoffs and will try to keep it going as they take on Penn State Shenango (14-11, 13-6) at 7 p.m. It will begin the men’s fourth straight playoff run as they try to capture the program’s fourth Penn State University Athletic Conference title and their second in the last three seasons.
PSUGA picked up a win in their final regular season match-up taking down PSU-Fayette 81-71. The offense, which had been lacking in the last couple games, turned it on right from the get go putting up 37 first-half points to get them out to a 37-29 lead at halftime. It was senior Jordon Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport HS) who got the offense on their feet scoring 19 of those 37 points to put his team ahead.
The offense just kept getting better as the game went on and, despite giving up 42 second half points, put up 44 points of their own and held off PSU-Fayette to pick up the win. With the win, PSUGA had knocked PSU-Fayette out of the playoffs and kept their chances at a home playoff game alive for at least one more day.
Payne led the way for PSUGA with 28 points on the day and was one of three players to finish in double digits on the day. Kenny Rouse (Duquesne, Pa./West Mifflin HS) was one of those to finish in double digits with 10 points while tying with teammate Mhonte Newsome (Baltimore, MD./Our Lady of Mount Carmel) for the team lead with six rebounds apiece in the win.
After dropping their last two games, Friday’s win was big not only for the playoff scenarios but for team morale as well. With the win, PSUGA just needed PSU-Shenango to lose their final regular season game against PSU-Lehigh Valley so that PSUGA would be able to host in the first round of the PSUAC playoffs.
However, Shenango was able to take care of business with a 78-68 win that gave them the #2 seed and a first round home playoff game. It was a defensive game early on with Shenango holding a 34-25 lead heading to halftime. The offenses came to life in the second half and Lehigh Valley put up 43 in the half, but Shenango responded with 44 points of their own to claim the victory. Brayden Martin had a big game for Shenango with a team high 21 points while Larry Ransom Jr. followed with 17 in the win.
It has been rough going for PSUGA against PSU-Shenango this season as they have dropped each of the first two games this season to Shenango by scores of 81-77 and 67-64. In their latest match-up, PSUGA trailed 34-25 at half before scoring 52 second half points. But, the Shenango offense held them off scoring 47 points of their own to claim victory. Makis Rivera (Pittsburgh, PA./Imani Christian Academy) had a career day putting up 17 points in that loss.
Tip-off for Tuesday’s PSUAC first round contest is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Buhl Community Recreational Center in Sharon, PA.