ERIE, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend men's basketball team beat Case Western Reserve 99-77 in their first game back from their three-week holiday break Saturday afternoon.
Malquan Pullium (Erie, PA/Strong Vincent) led the way in the Lions' (7-1) scoring frenzy with a season-high 21 points on a career-high nine made baskets. Pullium also added six boards, four assists and two steals in his best performance of the season.
Four other Behrend players recorded double digit scoring performances, marking the third time this season five Lions have scored in double figures in a game.
Freshmen Andy Niland (Fairview, PA/Fairview), Matt Colpoys (Erie, PA/Cathedral Prep) and Mike Fischer (Wexford, PA/North Allegheny) all tied season and career-highs with 18, 12 and 10 points respectively. Zane Hackett (Brookville, PA/Brookville) added 15 of his own.
A close game early turned out to be the Lions' highest scoring performance this season, jumpstarted by a 20-2 run in the ladder part of the first half. After multiple lead changes and ties during the first 12 minutes, the Spartans (6-4) battled to take a 27-26 advantage with just under seven minutes left in the half.
Baskets by Pullium and Hackett, followed by back-to-back threes from Justin Gorny (South Park, PA/South Park) sparked their 20-2 run, giving them a lead they would not look back from.
As a team, Behrend shot 54.4 percent from the floor, including 32.0 percent from beyond the arc. They knocked down 17 of their 21 free throws and dominated the paint, outscoring Case Western 58-30.
As the sixth-ranked scoring defense in the country, the Lions held the Spartans to 10 points under their 86.6 points per game scoring average. Behrend also added three blocks and seven steals as a team to add in their defensive statistics.
The Lions return to action Wednesday evening at Carnegie Mellon. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.