McKeesport, Pa. - With a 88-69 edge over Penn State New Kensington, the Penn State Greater Allegheny men's basketball team moved their overall standing to 4-6, 2-0 Penn State University Athletic Conference, the first time a perfect 2-0 PSUAC start in over five seasons of action.
Sophomore guard Khari Hicks (Pittsburgh, Pa./Imani Christian Academy) was the first on the board with a jumper. Senior forward Tyler Burkhart (Morgantown, W. Va./The Kiski School), senior guard Jashaun Fontanez (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) and Hicks all dropped jumpers to keep it an even eight a piece through the first five minutes.
Sophomore forward Curtis Newby (Sharon, Pa./Sharon) made a layup and a free-throw as Fontanez completed a pair of free-throws himself, 13-8 GA. New Kensington went on a ten-point run before freshman guard Marcus Ball (Warsaw, Va./Rappahannock) broke the silence with a three-pointer. Hicks brought the game within one with another completed three as sophomore guard Denzel Boyer-London (Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville) took back the lead with a trey himself, 22-20 home team.
Hicks and Newby both hit jumpers before Ball hammered down another three-pointer, 29-27 GA with four minutes until halftime. Newby added four points himself before Fontanez added two from the foul line. Freshman guard Jordon Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) dropped a jumper before Newby hummed with a dunk, 39-30. Fontanez made a jumper before Ball laid on points in the paint to send the two teams into halftime, 43-32.
Newby and Payne both added two points in the new half before Burkhart netted four to move Greater Allegheny to a 51-38 advantage just over three minutes into the new half of action. Hicks put down a jumper as Newby tacked on a pair of free-throws. Hicks bucketed a three-pointer as freshman forward Isaiah Fluker (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone) polished off a layup. Fontanez made a jumper and one before Newby, Burkhart and Fontanez all added to points a piece. Freshman forward Scorr Przybysz (Elderton, Pa./West Shamokin) dropped a pair of free-throws as Fontanez added five points, Greater Allegheny leading 76-58 with just four minutes left in regulation.
Newby led a string of six points as Fontanez put up two from the paint and Hicks added two from the free-throw line. Fontanez capped the final tallies of the game for GA by the way of a layup, Greater Allegheny in the driver's seat, 88-69.
Newby dominated under the hoop, as the sophomore contributed a double-double with 23 points and 22 rebounds. The forward posted 55.6% (10-of-18) of his shots from the floor, including 75% (3-of-4) from the free-throw line. Besides Curtis' 23 points and 22 rebounds, he posted five assists, three steals and two blocks.
Fontanez put up 22 points as the senior went 44.4% (8-of-18) from the floor and 83.3% (5-of-6) from the foul line. He added eight boards, three assists and two steals through the game. Hicks added 16 points with four assists, three rebounds and one block.
As a team, Greater Allegheny outshot New Kensington from every point on the floor. GA made 35 buckets from the floor, including six behind the arc, and an outstanding 85.7% (12-of-14) from the foul line. The Lions out-rebounded New Ken, 58-49, as the home team managed 42 points in the paint, 23 second-chance points and 12 points off turnovers.
Greater Allegheny (4-6, 2-0 PSUAC) look forward to their final contest before winter break, as the Lion rival Penn State Beaver comes to Wunderley Gymnasium, Friday evening. The PSUAC double-header is set for 6 p.m. with the men showing at 8 p.m.