Panthers stymie D'Youville for third straight victory

Tyler Ferguson

The Pitt-Bradford men's basketball team defeated D'Youville 65-53 Wednesday night for its third straight win, keeping the Panthers in the hunt for the final playoff spot in the AMCC tournament.

The two teams were even at eight after the opening six minutes, but Keith Burgess' three-point play with 13:45 left in the half ignited the run that put Pitt-Bradford in control for good. PJ Blanch followed with a jumper and on the next possession, Tyler Fantaskey drilled a three-pointer to extend the Panther lead to eight.

Jesse DeLoof's three at the 6:55 mark capped an 18-3 run by the visitors and they would lead 30-17 at the break.

The Spartans whittled the deficit to seven early in the second half before DeLoof and Tyler Ferguson scored on consecutive plays to push the advantage back to double-digits. DeLoof's basket with eight minutes remaining stretched Pitt-Bradford's lead to its largest of the night at 17, and the Panthers would cruise to a comfortable 12-point victory as both teams emptied their benches over the game's final minutes.

Pitt-Bradford shot 48 percent from the field and went 12-15 from the free throw line. The Panthers scored 26 points off 24 Spartan turnovers and outrebounded D'Youville by two. The Spartans were held to just 39 percent shooting and made only 3-19 attempts from beyond the arc.

Ferguson totaled a team-high 15 points and eight rebounds, and DeLoof finished with 13 points. Blanch, Fantaskey, and Lucas Pichette combined to scored 23 points off the bench for Pitt-Bradford.

The Blue and Gold are currently in seventh place in the league with a mark of 5-7 and just a half-game behind Pitt-Greensburg for the final playoff spot.

The Panthers improve to 10-9 on the season and host La Roche Saturday at 3 p.m.