Panthers reach triple digits in 100-78 victory

Junior Keith Burgess

The Pitt-Bradford men’s basketball team used a strong defensive performance in the second half of Saturday’s game with conference-foe D’Youville to route the Spartans 100-78. The 100-point total is the first time this season the Panthers have reached triple digits.

Pitt-Bradford had four players score in double figures. Junior Keith Burgess led all Panthers with 18 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Junior Tyler Fantaskey was close behind with 16 points and two rebounds. Sophomore Eric Matheson finished with 12 points, four rebounds and five assists, and senior Brandon McClester registered 10 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Pitt-Bradford (6-4, 2-1) had to overcome several early first-half deficits in order to take the win. The Panthers and the Spartans took turns scoring on offensive possessions to open the game.

After seven minutes of play, Pitt-Bradford trailed 21-15 and needed a spark offensively in order to turn the game around. Unfortunately, it took longer than expected to find the spark, and with five and a half minutes remaining until halftime, the Panthers trailed 45-32.

From that point on, it was all Pitt-Bradford in the scoring department. The Panthers found a rhythm with their attack and began to play stout defense on the other end. Over the course of a couple of minutes the 13-point deficit was erased and the Panthers carried a 54-51 advantage into the half.

The Panthers headed to the locker room shooting 50 percent from the floor, including 38.5 percent from behind the arc. They were 11-of-12 at the line, missing a perfect half of free throw shooting by just one basket.

The Spartans finished the first twenty minutes shooting 59.4 percent from the floor, including 40 percent from the three-point line. They were 9-of-11 from the charity stripe.

D’Youville (0-11, 0-4) hit the floor to begin second half with little sense of urgency defensively, and it showed as the Panthers raced out to a 10-point advantage less than three minutes into the second period.

With 9:37 remaining in the game, Pitt-Bradford led 81-65 and showed no signs of stepping on the brake.

The potent attack the Panthers had put together continued to pile on the points. Matheson began to heat up late in the game and quickly added to his point total with back-to-back-to-back baskets.

With the clock showing 1:45 remaining, the Panthers held a 24 point advantage and began to let what little time was left dwindle away.

D’Youville’s Daryl Herring hit a short jumper with 23 seconds left to bring the score to its final total.

“Overall, it was a very fast paced game,” said head coach Britt Moore. “We did an awful job defensively the first half. We discussed that at halftime and played the second half with much more energy. This is a tough place to play so we were happy to get the win.”

Pitt-Bradford finished the game shooting 48.6 percent from the field, including 42.9 percent from behind the arc. The Panthers were 23-of-27 from behind the line.

D’Youville shot 46.9 percent from the floor and just 35.3 percent from behind the three-point line. The Spartans were 12-of-18 from the line.

Pitt-Bradford returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 8, when it hosts Penn State Behrend at the KOA Arena at 6 p.m.