Brandon McClester, Panthers slip past Bobcats

Brandon McClester scored a game-high 20 points, including 14 in the second half, to help lead the Pitt-Bradford men's basketball team past Pitt-Greensburg Saturday 61-57.

It was a nip-and-tuck affair as the game was tied or the lead exchanged hands 18 times until the final five minutes. McClester's bucket with 4:46 left put the Panthers ahead for good and sparked a 15-4 run that put the game away.

Tyler Ferguson hit two free throws moments later and McClester scored again to extend the Pitt-Bradford lead to 52-47 with three minutes remaining. Following a Bobcat basket, Justin Quiggle hit a free throw and McClester scored on consecutive trips to stretch the advantage to eight at 57-49 with 1:23 left.

Pitt-Bradford struggled from the free throw line all day and it nearly cost the Panthers in the final minute. They missed four of their last six attempts as Pitt-Greensburg trimmed the lead to three in the final seconds on a three-pointer. After missing the first of his two attempts, Keith Burgess sank his second try with three seconds left to ice the win.

Pitt-Bradford finished the game hitting just 11-26 attempts from the line compared to the Pitt-Greensburg going 11-15.

The Panthers outscored the Bobcats 13-3 at one point in the first half to build a nine-point lead, their largest of the day, and they eventually led 31-25 at the break.

Pitt-Greensburg regained the lead in the opening 10 minutes of the second half before giving it right back. The Panthers went ahead by five with less than 10 minutes remaining, but a 9-2 spurt by Pitt-Greensburg pushed the Bobcats ahead with 5:40 left. Burgess hit a free throw and on the next possession, McClester stole the ball and scored, setting the stage for the game's final run.

Pitt-Bradford shot 51 percent from the floor, hit six three-pointers, and scored 25 points off 20 Bobcat turnovers. Pitt-Greensburg kept the score tight by outrebounding the Panthers by nine, scoring 11 second-chance points and hitting six threes of its own.

McClester was 7-12 from the field and 5-8 from the stripe to post his third 20-point effort of the season. Burgess chipped in with 14 points and Tyler Fantaskey added eight off the bench.

Pitt-Bradford, which has won two straight, improves to 9-9 on the season and 4-7 in the AMCC. The men play at D'Youville Wednesday.