ERIE, Pa. – Coming into the game as the nation's number one scoring defense, the Penn State Behrend men's basketball team held Carnegie Mellon's high powered offense in check in a 69-57 victory Wednesday night. Malquan Pullium (Erie, PA/Strong Vincent) scored a team-high 15 points and added five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Entering the game averaging 81.8 ppg, Carnegie Mellon (9-2) mustered only 57 points on 20-of-50 shooting. The Lions (10-1) scored 23 points off of 15 forced turnovers and shot 44.2 percent from the field including seven three-pointers.
Behrend played a strong first half shooting 51.9 percent from the field and went into the locker room leading 37-28. C.M.U. responded with a 7-0 run to start the second half that cut the Lions lead to two points with 16:38 left to play. Nick DeLisio (Aliquippa, PA/Central Valley) hit a momentun-shifting three-pointer to stop the run and put Behrend back up by five. DeLisio finished the game with 14 points and four assists.
C.M.U. withstood each Behrend run throughout the second half and worked their way to a four point deficit with 2:41 remaining in the game. Zane Hackett (Brookville, PA/Brookville) hit a crucial layup at the 2:25 mark to lift the Lions to a six point lead. After drawing a foul, Keith Wallace (Erie, PA/Central Tech) made the first of two free-throws and secured the rebound off his own miss to give the Lions a critical second chance opportunity. He followed by reeling in a second offensive rebound off a Wes Davic (Grafton, OH/Midview) miss to give the Lions possession with under a minute left and holding a seven point lead.
Davic and Pullium combined to go 6-for-6 from the free-throw line to close out the thrilling non-conference victory. Davic finished with his fourth double-double of the year scoring 11 points and hauling in 14 rebounds. Hackett was just shy of a double-double and finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.
The Lions continue their undefeated conference run Saturday when they travel to Franciscan for a 4 p.m. contest.