FREDONIA, NY – The Penn State Behrend men's basketball team took on Fredonia to kick off their season in non-conference play, Tuesday night. Russ Conley had a solid opening night to lead all Lions (1-0) in scoring with 15 points and rebounding with eight boards while Justin Kovac dished three assists and chipped in with 12 points. The men defeated the Blue Devils (0-1) for the eighth time in ten years, this one ending 60-47.
Curtis Fluker's 15 points and six rebounds, just wasn't enough to slow Behrend down. Fredonia's next leading scorer was Jonathan Herreara who posted seven points to go along with three rebounds.
Due to poor ball handling neither team was able to establish dominance in the first half. The Blue Devils committed 10 turnovers to the Lion's eight. With 3:45 on the clock, Conley jammed one home to even the game at 22-all and led the way to an 8-3 Behrend run to end the half.
Nick Thorsen started the second half with a steal that transitioned into a Chris Saltzman layup on the other end to put the men ahead by six. The Lions witnessed their lead dwindle to two after a couple baskets by Kevin Mitchell and Leonard Smith just a few minutes into the half. Fredonia wouldn't come within arm's length of the men for the remainder of the game.
Thorsen dished out two assists in the second half while Conley, Chris Saltzman and Nick Dvorsky handled most of the scoring combined to tally 20 points en route to a 60-47 win.
Behrend was able to take care of the ball in the second-half. The men capitalized on Fredonia's 10 second-half giveaways by scoring 23 points off turnovers.
Behrend will host Muskingum Friday at 8 p.m. in its Tip-Off Tournament. The winner of that game will go on to play in the winner of the Ithaca vs. Grove City matchup in the championship Sunday at 3 p.m. The consolation game will be held at 1 p.m.