ERIE, Pa. - The Fredonia State Blue Devils connected on 12 three-point baskets while their defense held the Lions in check to earn a 61-50 victory in non-conference men's basketball action on Tuesday evening.
For just the first time in 11 years, the Lions (0-1) lost their season opener despite having nine different players score.
Behrend came out fast, scoring eight straight to open the contest. The Lions held the lead for nearly six minutes until a layup by Damien Goodwin II tied the game at 8-all. The back and forth battle continued through the start of the game. For every basket, the Blue Devils had an answer.
Down by four with ten minutes remaining in the first half, Fredonia St caught fire. Two free-throws by Kevin Mitchell capped a 12-0 run by the Blue Devils. Junior Pat St. Andrews (State College, PA/State College) ended their run with three buckets from the charity stripe to make the score 26-21
With three minutes to go in the first half, Nick Thorsen (Bethel Park, PA/Bethel Park) drained a three to put Behrend back within four. The Lions would only get two more points in the final three minutes while Fredonia St. took a 32-26 lead into halftime.
With the second half underway, Jonathon Herrera nailed a three to push the lead to 35-27. Behrend came back with two straight layups by Russ Conley (Transfer, PA/Reynolds) and Dan Simpson (Pittsburgh, PA/Upper St. Clair), cutting the deficit to four.
The story of the night though was the Blue Devils answer for every run by the Lions. Herrera hit another shot from long range to put Fredonia St. up by seven.
Behrend was able to cut the lead to six on two occasions late in the second half, but Goodwin II hit two triples each time to push it back to nine. His second three at the 2:44 mark was enough to put the Lions away for good with the Blue Devils pushing the lead to as many as 15.
Nick DeLisio (Aliquippa, PA/Central Valley) and Simpson led the way for Behrend with nine points each while Conley and St. Andrews tallied eight apiece. Adam Palcic (Greensburg, PA/Greensburg Central Catholic) pulled down a game high eight rebounds.
The Lions will be back in action on Saturday. Behrend will travel to Carnegie Mellon for a game at 7:30 p.m.