McKeesport, Pa. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball Team (18-6, 12-3) finished up the 2017/2018 regular season with a big win over Penn State Fayette (11-13, 8-7) on Monday night 78-73. With the win, PSUGA has secured the number one seed in the Penn State University Athletic Conference Playoffs for the first time in program history.
It was a close game throughout, but PSUGA was able to secure the victory in the final minute of the game when Jeremy McMunn (Pittsburgh, Pa./Woodland Hills) nailed two free throws to put the game officially out of reach. The senior came through big on a night when seniors and 2+2 players were honored in a pre-game ceremony.
PSUGA and PSU-Fayette battled back and forth throughout the first half with neither team seeming to be able to get the upper hand. PSU-Fayette would jump out to a 12-5 lead through the first five minutes of the half, but PSUGA would battle back using the three-pointer to bring it to a three-point game before taking their first lead of the game with 3:52 remaining in the half. They would end up holding that lead heading into the locker room up 33-29.
Khari Hicks (East Hills, Pa./Imani Christian Academy) led the offensive charge through the first half putting up a team high seven points to go along with five rebounds. PSUGA was looking for someone to take control of the game and help them pull away from Fayette.
They would get what they wished for as Kenny Rouse (Duquesne, Pa./West Mifflin) went off in the second half scoring 20 points while going five for six from three-point range. Rouse almost single-handedly helped PSUGA grab the win scoring a little less then half of the team’s 47 second half points. McMunn’s free throws in the final minute would insure that Rouse’s efforts weren’t for not and that PSUGA would be the #1 seed in the playoffs.
The 26 points on the day were a career high for Rouse as he led his team to victory and was one of only two players to find themselves in double-digits. Jordan Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) put up 11 points on the day, nine of which came in the second half. Curtis Newby (Sharon, Pa./Sharon HS) once again led the way in rebounds collecting 11 boards, but falling short of the double-double.
The win secures the PSUAC Playoff picture with all six teams knowing their place in the bracket. PSUGA and PSU-Brandywine will both have off-days on Wednesday whiel PSU-Wilkes Barre, PSU-Lehigh Valley, PSU-Hazleton, and PSU-York battle it out to see who gets to move on to the final four. PSUGA would be set to play the winner of the PSU-Wilkes Barre vs. PSU-Lehigh Valley Game on Friday in the PSUAC Semi-final Round.
The PSUGA Men will be looking to win back-to-back PSUAC Championships for the first time in school history as they compete in this year’s tournament.