The Penn State Greater Allegehny Men's Basketball Team (16-8, 13-6) picked up a big win in their regular season finale over Penn State Fayette 81-71 on Friday night. They did their part in helping them clinch a Penn State University Athletic Conference Playoff home game and now they have to see if PSU-Shenango loses their regular season finale on Saturday.
PSUGA found the offense they had been lacking over their last couple games and kept their foot on the gas the entire night. They started out scoring 11 of the first 13 points over the first four minutes of the ball game. PSUGA would extend their lead to 16-8 before Fayette went on a 9-4 run that brought the score back to 20-16 halfway through the half.
Fayette would overtake PSUGA 29-27 with just over two minutes to go before halftime. PSUGA would respond with a 9-0 run to end the quarter amd went into halftime ahead 37-29. Jordon Payne (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport HS) led the offense with 19 firsr half points leading the offense.
It would be an offensive slugfest in the second half as both teams got the offense going putting up 40 points a piece as they were both battling for playoff implications. Fayette would come back to the things at 42-42 with 16 minutes to go in the game.
PSUGA took the lead for good going on back-to-back runs of 9-2 and 8-2 that put them ahead 58-52 with seven minutes to play. Though Fayette battled back in the game, PSUGA had enough to hold them off and pick up a crucial 81-71 victory.
Payne finished his strong day with 28 points in the win while Koran Fleming (Wilkinsburg, PA./Westinghouse HS) put up 12 points in the win. Mhonte Newsome (Baltimore, MD./Our Lady of Mount Carmel) and Kenny Rouse (Duquesne, PA./West Mifflin HS) led the defense with six rebounds in the win.
The win got PSUGA halfway to hosting a home playoff game in the first round of the PSUAC playoffs. They need to have PSU-Shenango lose their final regular season game on Saturday. If Shenango wins, PSUGA will go on the road for the first round of the PSUAC playoffs.
PSUGA now awaits their playoff fate as they get set for the first round of the PSUAC playoffs on Tuesday February 19th.