McKeesport, Pa. – It came down to the wire on Wednesday night, but the Penn State Greater Allegheny Men’s Basketball team (7-4, 4-3) pulled out their third straight win defeating Penn State Fayette (3-10, 3-4) 78-74. It was close throughout with both teams fighting for an edge, but the resilient offense and a strong defensive effort from PSUGA were enough to lift the men to their third straight victory.
After PSUGA jumped out to a 10-6 lead to start the first half, Fayette would gain the first true advantage of the game going on an 11-0 run to make things 17-10. PSUGA would come back scoring eight unanswered points of their own and would take back a slight 18-17 lead. The two teams would continue to trade blows throughout the half. Mhonte Newsome (Baltimore, MD./Our Lady of the Sacred Heart) would hit a jumper as time ticked away in the first half and PSUGA would take a 35-34 advantage into the locker room.
While the offense was keeping pace, they were doing so without top scorer Jordon Payne (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport HS) who was kept off the board in the first half. It would be a crew of seven different PSUGA players who would help PSUGA put up the one-point advantage. While PSUGA was seeing some success, they were still looking for that breakout moment to give them the advantage.
After trading points to a 40-40 score with 17:26 to go, PSUGA would find the advantage they were looking for going on a 13-0 run to open things up to 53-40 with just over 14 minutes left in the half. A 9-0 run by Fayette got them back into the game and the score sat at 63-59 with six and a half to play.
After being held to 0 points through three quarters of the game, it would be Payne that put the game out of reach scoring eight points over the final four minutes, including one three-pointer, that brought the score to 70-61. Despite several attempts from Fayette, they could not complete the comeback falling 78-74.
Antonio Hill (West Mifflin, PA./West Mifflin HS) continued his recent offensive success putting up a team high 18 points in the win. Makis Rivera (Pittsburgh, PA./Imani Christian Academy) led the defense with 10 rebounds and picked up a double-double scoring 14 points on the night as the second of three PSUGA players to score in double digits.
With the win, PSUGA goes above .500 in conference play for the first time this season sitting at 4-3. They are currently in fourth place in the PSUAC West Division and, if the season ended today, would hold on to the fourth and final playoff spot in the division.
PSUGA returns to action on Saturday when they take on PSU-New Kensington. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. on the campus of PSU-New Kensington.