McKeesport, Pa. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball team (14-6, 11-5) has been rolling lately winning four of their last five games inside the Wunderly Gym. They will look to continue that success and try and clinch their fourth straight trip to the Penn State University Athletic Conference tournament on Saturday when they take on Penn State New Kensington (7-13, 3-11) at 3 p.m.
PSUGA cut their magic number to clinch a playoff spot down to one on Wednesday when they picked up a big 83-68 win against Penn State Beaver. After the two teams battled through the first 12 minutes of the game, PSUGA would get the offense started with a short 5-2 run that gave them a 25-21 lead with 4:23 left before halftime. A 9-2 run would solidify their lead as the teams broke for the locker room with PSUGA up 34-27.
The second half saw Kenny Rouse (Duquesne, PA./West Mifflin HS) and the PSUGA offense exploded for 49 points, including an 11-2 run to start the quarter, as they picked up their fourth win in the last five games. Rouse scored 14 of his 16 points in the half and had one of his biggest games of the season as he made his first full-time appearance from injury.
Koran Fleming (Wilkinsburg, PA./Westinghouse HS) led the offense with 22 points just ahead of Rouse’s 13 point effort. Rouse also had it working on defense finishing with a team high eight rebounds in the win. Jordon Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport HS) was the other PSUGA men’s basketball player to finish in double digits finishing with 11 in the win.
PSU-Fayette picked up a win over PSU-New Kensington earlier in the night, so PSUGA dropped their magic number to clinch a playoff spot to one. With a win over PSU-New Kensington on Saturday, PSUGA will be making their way to the tournament for the fourth consecutive season. They currently sit in second place in the PSUAC West Division just a half game ahead of third place PSU-Shenango.
New Kensington is coming off that loss to Fayette where they were held to just 21 second half points in an 81-65 loss to PSU-Fayette. They were right with Fayette early trailing 45-44 at halftime, but the offense just couldn’t get anything going in the loss. Jamison Nee led the way for PSUGA with 21 points and seven rebounds while Jakob Richardson added 11 and Brent Ivory scored 18 in the loss.
PSUGA topped New Kensington 101-86 earlier in the season as part of their season long six game winning streak on January 12th. Mhonte Newsome (Baltimore, MD./Our Lady of Mount Carmel) had a big day scoring a career high 24 points in the win. In 12 previous match-ups with PSU-New Kensington PSUGA owns an 8-4 record and has won each of their last seven match-ups with New Kensington.
Tip-off for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 3 p.m. as the second half of a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader. You can watch all the action live at bit.ly/PSUGAYT.