Lions claw past Panthers 90-71

The Pitt-Bradford men’s basketball team suffered a 19-point defeat at the hands of visiting conference-foe Penn State Behrend on Wednesday, Jan. 8. The Lions used a quick start and solid defensive play in the post to keep the Panthers from using their speedy offensive attack to score points.

Senior Brandon McClester finished the night as the leading scorer for Pitt-Bradford with 18 points, four rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Eric Matheson had a solid night on the court as well, finishing with 14 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Pitt-Bradford (6-5, 2-2) hit the floor searching for answers for the size and strength shown by the Lions in the low post. As a result, the Panthers found themselves trailing 9-4 very early in the game.

Shortly after, Pitt-Bradford seemed to find a rhythm offensively bringing the score to within two points for several minutes. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the offensive production was short lived and the Lions were able to take advantage of a few costly errors and extend their lead.

Then with nine minutes remaining, the Panthers offense surged again, this time cutting the deficit to just one point and keeping it to within a few points for several minutes. But each time the score got close, the Lions found a way to take over the game and once again extend their lead.

Pitt-Bradford headed into the locker room at the break trailing 41-33.

The Panthers shot 46.4 percent from the field during the first half, including 60 percent from behind the arc. They were 4-of-7 from free-throw line.

The Lions finished the first twenty minutes shooting 64.3 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from the three-point line. They did not step to the free-throw line to attempt a shot during the first half.

Penn State Behrend (9-2, 3-1) returned to the floor in the second half keeping with the game plan it used in the first half. Getting the ball to the low post and using its size and strength advantage proved to be a key to the consistency Penn State Behrend had offensively.

With the clock showing 12:45 remaining, the Panthers cut the Lions lead to just four points, 57-53. Moments later Penn State Behrend’s Casey Courneen hit a big three-point shot with 11:58 to go and the lead only grew from there.

The Panthers would find themselves down as much as twenty points late in the game, a margin that proved too difficult to overcome as the clock continued to dwindle.

Pitt-Bradford’s Colton Holzwarth hit a short jumper with 55 seconds remaining in the game to put the final points on the board for the Panthers.

Penn State Behrend finished its night shooting 62.5 percent from the floor and 43.8 percent from behind the arc. The Lions were 13-of-14 from the charity stripe, all in the second half.

Pitt-Bradford was 43.3 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from the three-point line. The Panthers were 13-of-17 from the line.

Pitt-Bradford returns to the KOA Arena this Saturday, Jan. 11, when it hosts La Roche. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.