Panthers rally for 76-72 victory

Junior Lucas Pichette

The Pitt-Bradford men’s basketball team put together a string of points in the second half and held off a stingy Medaille attack for a 76-72 victory in front of a rowdy and raucous crowd on Monday, Jan. 20.

Junior Lucas Pichette finished off his night with his first double-double of the season. Pichette tallied 12 points, 10 rebounds and one assist. Junior Keith Burgess ended the night with a team-high 21 points, four rebounds and two assists.

Junior Tyler Fantaskey finished with 16 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Eric Matheson rounded out the high scoring with 12 points, three rebounds and four assists.

Pitt-Bradford (9-7, 5-4) met its match to begin the contest. Medaille came roaring down the court from the opening tipoff and was determined to give its best effort against the Panthers.

The game remained close for the first eight minutes of action. At that time, the Mavericks capitalized on a few Pitt-Bradford missed shots and turnovers to open up a considerable lead. With 6:30 left in the first half, Medaille led the Panthers 37-23.

Moments later, the Panthers’ offense came alive and after a Burgess layup, the deficit had been cut to nine points. Pichette added a layup of his own with 1:45 showing on the clock, and the game was within one point.

When the clock ran out on the first period, Medaille held a 39-36 advantage over the Panthers.

Pitt-Bradford finished the first half shooting 48.5 percent from the field, including 25 percent from behind the arc. The Panthers were a solid 3-of-3 from the line.

Medaille shot 43.2 percent from the floor, including 54.5 percent from behind the three-point line. The Mavericks were 1-of-1 from the line.

Medaille (6-10, 5-4) opened the second half by getting the first points on the board off a Jammal Coleman layup.

The Panthers quickly responded as Burgess dodged defenders on his way to the basket with the go-ahead shot. With that, Pitt-Bradford proved it was in this one for the long haul.

The Mavericks managed to move into the lead and sustain enough offense to control a small lead for several minutes.

With just 25 seconds showing on the clock, Pitt-Bradford’s Tyler Fantaskey hit a triple that put the Panthers up 72-69. Coleman went to the line for Medaille seconds later and made both free throws to bring the score to 72-71 in favor of the Panthers.

Coleman fouled Burgess one second later and he went to the line with two shots to ice the game. Burgess hit one of the free throws to keep the game tense.

With just three seconds remaining, Burgess again went to the line with two shots. He needed just the first one to put the game away and seal the upset victory for the Panthers.

“We are getting better defensively and coming closer to playing a full 40 minutes,” said head coach Britt Moore. “Medaille came out hot and really hurt us from three. The student section was great and really made a difference. We hope to have that type of home court advantage all year.”

Pitt-Bradford finished the game shooting 47.4 percent from the field, including 44.4 percent from behind the arc. The Panthers were 18-of-21 from the line.

Medaille shot 43.9 percent from the floor, including 52.6 percent from behind the three-point line. The Mavericks were 4-of-7 from the line.

Pitt-Bradford hits the road on Thursday, Jan. 23, as it travels to face Penn State Behrend. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. in Erie, Pa.