ERIE, Pa. - Andy Niland (Fairview, PA/Fairview) hit the go-ahead three with 44 second left in the game to help the Penn State Behrend men's basketball team defeat SUNY Canton, 68-65, in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) quarterfinals.
Niland finished the game with 14 points, 12 of which came in the second half to help the Lions (20-7) advance to the semifinals on Saturday evening against Westminster at 6 p.m. The Titans defeated DeSales 93-81 to advance.
After trailing the Roos (20-9) the whole game, Niland found an open shot and rattled in a triple to put Behrend up 65-63 with 44 second remaining. 14 seconds later, Canton's Sam Annorh missed an open three to give the Lions the ball back. Dan Wanker (Pittsburgh, PA/South Park) found Justin Gorny (South Park, PA/South Park) under the hoop for an easy layup, putting Behrend up by four with just 19 seconds left to play.
After responding with a layup of their own, the Roos sent Niland to the line where he made his first attempt, but missed the second. With nine second left, Canton had one shot left to tie the game, but the Lions forced a turnover to seal the deal.
The Roos (20-9) jumped out an early 5-0 lead and kept the pressure on Behrend throughout the first half with the help of early three's. The Lions faced two 10-point deficits throughout the night, including the final one with a little over eight minutes to play in the game. However, Behrend outscored Canton from that point on down the stretch, 23-9, to mount the late comeback.
Malquan Pullium (Erie, PA/Strong Vincent) finished the game with a team-high 19 points. The senior guard shot 54.5 percent (6-for-11) from the floor and drained three triples.
Mike Fischer (Wexford, PA/North Allegheny) added 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting and six boards.
Gorny finished the game with a double-double after scoring 15 and pulling down a team-high 10 rebounds.