Panthers defeat Franciscan, secure spot in AMCC tourney

Tyler Fantaskey vs. Pitt-Greensburg
Tyler Fantaskey scored 13 points

The Pitt-Bradford men's basketball team began the week needing three victories to have a chance at making the AMCC tournament. Seven days and three wins later, including a 67-52 defeat of Franciscan Saturday, the Panthers have done just that.

The win over Franciscan, combined with Penn State Behrend's comeback victory over Penn State Altoona, put Pitt-Bradford in the postseason for the fifth straight year and second under head coach Britt Moore.

The Panthers wasted little time dispatching of Franciscan, hitting five three-pointers to open the game on a 29-8 scoring burst. They led 37-24 at the break and twice led by as much as 25 in the second half.

Pitt-Bradford cooled off in the final 20 minutes, but still finished the game shooting 42 percent. It outrebounded the Barons by four and was 13-14 from the line. The Panthers scored 14 points off turnovers and limited Franciscan to 34 percent shooting.

It was a balanced effort for the Blue and Gold as 10 different players scored, including all four seniors who were honored prior to the start of the game. Tyler Fantaskey had a season-high 12 points and Brandon McClester added 12. Keith Burgess and Jesse DeLoof totaled nine each.

"We did what we had to do today to finish the week 3-0." said Moore. "We accomplished the ultimate goal of making the playoffs.

"At no point during the season were we ever in the top six in the conference standings until today. Our guys just kept fighting to the very end and I couldn't be more proud."

DeLoof, Tyler Ferguson, Derek Redding and James Willson all started in their final home game as a Panther, and each received a standing ovation as they checked out of the game for the last time.

Pitt-Bradford finishes the regular season 13-12 and 8-10 in the AMCC. The Panthers travel to Behrend Tuesday for the AMCC tournament quarterfinals.