Panthers outlast Houghton 89-71

The Pitt-Bradford men’s basketball team used a strong offensive performance in the second half to push past the Houghton Highlanders 89-71 on Tuesday night at the KOA Arena.

The Panthers had a season-high six players score in double figures. Leading the way for Pitt-Bradford was senior Brandon McClester, who finished the night with 16 points, two rebounds and four assists. Next was junior Keith Burgess. Burgess left the court with 15 points, three rebounds and two assists.

Junior Lucas Pichette capped a solid night in the paint with 13 points and three rebounds. The Panthers had two players finish with 12 total points in junior Tyler Fantaskey and freshman Zach Smith. Fantaskey added one rebound, while Smith added three rebounds and one assist.

Pitt-Bradford (3-2, 0-0) got off to a slow start in the first half. The Highlanders came out firing on all cylinders that seemed to catch the Panthers off guard.

Despite trailing by a large margin in the first half, the Panthers were able to close the gap and head into the break, down 37-33.

Pitt-Bradford shot just 35 percent from the floor in the first half, but was able to add 9-of-11 free throws.

Houghton shot 59 percent from the floor and drained 7-of-7 free throws from the line.

Houghton (0-5, 0-0) seemed to have the game under control in the first 20 minutes, as they capitalized on several Pitt-Bradford mistakes. Coming out of the locker room, the momentum shifted quickly and drastically, and the Highlanders were never able to recover.

The Panthers stormed their way down the court in the second half, scoring a total of 56 points compared to Houghton’s 34.

As previously stated, the scoring wasn’t geared toward any single person but rather a group effort. Pitt-Bradford used strong passing while finding the open lanes to the basket to roll up its point total.

“That was not how we drew up the game plan, but we will take it,” said head coach Britt Moore. We came out very sluggish and they did a great job of executing. McClester and Holzwarth set the tone defensively and that got us jump started. It is always nice to head into the break after a victory.”

The Panthers head home for the Thanksgiving holiday and will retake the court on Monday, Dec. 2. Pitt-Bradford travels to Pitt-Greensburg on Saturday, Dec. 7, for a 1 p.m. tip-off.