Slippery Rock, Pa. - Despite trailing just five heading into halftime, the Penn State Greater Allegheny men's basketball team dropped a 94-73 decision to NCAA Division II Slippery Rock, Monday night.
Sophomore forward Curtis Newby (Sharon, Pa./Sharon) was the first on the board with a good three-pointer. Slippery Rock went on a nine-point run before freshman guard Jordon Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) bucketed a three-pointer himself, 6-9 Slippery Rock just four minutes into the game.
Newby laid on a layup as senior guard Jashaun Fontanez (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) drained a trey, cutting the SR run to just four points. Newby put up a layup as Slippery Rock held Greater Allegheny to that 14 while they influxed their tally to 26. Freshman forward Isaiah Fluker (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone) painted on a lay up to lead into a Newby layup and a pair of Fontanez completed free-throws.
Payne bucketed a three-pointer to bring the game to a 28-23 Slippery Rock lead with just eight minutes until the break. Fontanez added a three-pointer and a layup to bring the margin within one. Senior forward Tyler Burkhart (Morgantown, W. Va./The Kiski School) put up two points in the paint as junior guard Moe Alli (Edison, N.J./Cardinal McCarrick) took the lead for the first time of the game for Greater Allegheny with a layup, 32-31 GA with four minutes until the break. Slippery Rock added a few more points before Fluker drained a three to mark the final tally of the half for the Lions, 38-33.
Newby was the first to score in the new half of action before sophomore guard Denzel Boyer-London (Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville) dropped a layup, 40-37 Slippery Rock. Payne nailed down a three-pointer to bring the game within two before Slippery Rock pulled away with an 11-0 run to hold GA to their 40 points. Newby broke the silence with a dunk. Fontanez tacked on a pair of successful free-throws to bring the game to a 57-44 Rock lead with just 12 minutes left in regulation.
Fontanez put up two more free-throws before the senior aced a three-pointer to bring the game to a 19-point deficit. Burkhart dropped back-to-back jumpers to lead into a Payne jumper, 75-55 Rock. Hicks added a three-pointer to lead into Newby's two points from the foul line, 79-60 Slippery Rock with four minutes left to play.
Hicks surplused the Lions with a set of three-pointers to lead into the final two minutes of the game. Fluker tacked on a point from the foul line as Boyer-London dropped points in the paint, 89-69 with just a minute of action remaining. Payne marked a jumper to lead into a duo from Fontanez from the foul-line, Greater Allegheny taking the back seat to Division II Slippery Rock, 94-73.
Fontanez netted 19 points with three boards and two assists as the guard dropped a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul-line. Newby put up six buckets from the floor, totaling 16 points, four rebounds and two steals. Payne added 13 points with five boards, five assists and four steals.
As a team, Greater Allegheny shot 80% (12-of-15) from the foul line while contributing 24 points in the paint, 18 second-chance points and 15 points off turnovers.
Greater Allegheny (3-6, 1-0 PSUAC) looks forward to Wednesday, as they get back into Penn State University Athletic Conference action. Penn State New Kensington comes to Wunderley Gymnasium for a 7 p.m. tip-off.