Clarion, Pa. - Despite 18 points from sophomore forward George Prota (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward), the Penn State Greater Allegheny men's basketball team fell to NCAA Division II, Clarion University, Wednesday night, by the margin of 92-76.
Clarion was first on the board as sophomore guard Jordon Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) matched his jumper. Prota bucketed three layups as junior guard Moe Alli (Edison, N.J./Cardinal McCarrick) added a point from the foul line. Junior guard Jeremy McMunn (Pittsburgh, Pa./Woodland Hills) noted a three-pointer six minutes into the half to bring the margin to 15-12 Clarion.
Prota was good for four more points in the paint as junior guard Jumanne Butler-McDaniel (Franklin, N.J./Cardinal McCarrick) made a layup himself, pushing Greater Allegheny in front of Clarion for the first time in the game, 18-17.
Prota added a point from a free-throw as sophomore forward Scott Przybysz (Elderton, Pa./West Shamokin) denoted a jumper, 21-19 GA. The Lions were held to those 21 points for over five minutes before junior forward Curtis Newby (Sharon, Pa./Sharon) put up points in the paint, 31-23 Clarion.
Junior guard Khari Hicks (East Hills, Pa./Imani Christian Academy) and McMunn put up two points a piece as Butler-McDaniel added the final layup of the half for Greater Allegheny; Clarion leading 44-29.
Fresh into the new half, both Payne and McMunn rung three-pointers to light a fire under the blue-and-white offense. Prota added a layup and a free-throw before Hicks, Newby and Butler-McDaniel snapped with a string of layups, ending with a Hicks three-pointer, Clarion still in the lead 66-47.
Newby added six straight points as Payne bucketed a jumper, 79-57 Clarion with six minutes remaining in regulation. Hicks slashed a layup and a pair of free-throws while Prota put up two foul shots himself.
Hicks and Payne made up the final scoring tallies for the Lions, noting a total of 13 points. Clarion came out on top, 92-76.
Newby contributed another double-double performance, with 12 rebounds and ten points with four assists. Prota put up a team-high 18 points with eight rebounds, as the sophomore went 77.8% (7-of-9) from the field. Payne put up 16 points with four boards, four assists and a block while Hicks came off the bench for 15 points, three steals and an assist.
As a team, Greater Allegheny shot 60% (9-of-15) from the foul line while going 47% (31-of-66) from the floor. The teams were even in rebounds with 38 each as GA earned 34 points in the paint, 14 points off turnovers and 11 points off second-chance.
Greater Allegheny (2-2) looks forward to their annual Penn State Greater Allegheny Tip-Off Tournament this weekend, as CCAC-Boyce comes to Wunderley Gymnasium Friday night. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.