McKeesport, PA. – It was a tough night all-around for the Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball team (15-9, 12-6) when they fell to Chatham (16-8, 9-6) 82-59 on Wednesday night. Offense was hard to come by and, despite scoring 35 second half points, PSUGA didn’t have enough in the tank to complete the comeback.
After neither team scored for the first two minutes of the ball game, Chatham got the momentum on their side early scoring six of the first eight points to jump out to a 6-2 lead. The lead would swell to 16-6 before head coach Tyler Care called a timeout as he tried to get his team going.
His guys responded going on a 6-0 run that brought the score to 16-12 with nine minutes to play in the half, but Chatham answered on a 6-0 run of their own as the offense did not back down. They rode the momentum into halftime and had PSUGA down 44-24. PSUGA scored their lowest point total in a half this season. Antonio Hill (West Mifflin, PA./West Mifflin HS) led the way with five points as they were looking to get back into the game.
Jordon Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport HS) and Marquest Rainey (Pittsburgh, PA./Allderdice HS) carried the team in the second half combining to score 27 of their 35 second half points. Payne got hot halfway through the second half hitting three straight shots, including two threes, to get PSUGA back to within 19 points.
Rainey scored a career high 13 points on the day making the most of his 19 minutes on the court. He hit the last shot of the game for PSUGA that brought the score to 82-59. Rainey played the most minutes he has played this season and showed just what he can provide as PSUGA heads down the stretch.
Payne finished the day with a team leading 16 points while Rainey set a career high in his freshman season with 13 points on the night. Mhonte Newsome (Baltimore, MD./Our Lady of Mount Carmel) led the defense with six rebounds to go along with his six points in the loss.
PSUGA will now try to forget the last two games as they battle for a home playoff game when they take on PSU-Fayette on Friday. They need a win and at least one Shenango loss over their last two games to clinch a home playoff spot. PSUGA is trying to host in the first round for the first time since the 2015-2016 season after getting a bye in the first round a year ago.
Tip-off for Friday’s game is scheduled for 8 p.m. and will be the second half of a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader.