ERIE, Pa. - The Penn State Behend men's basketball team came up short Sunday afternoon in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship game against Stockton, 74-72.
The Ospreys (18-11) overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to outlast the Lions (21-8) down the stretch.
Malquan Pullium (Erie, PA/Strong Vincent) recroded his 1,000 point in game. The senior guard hit a three to get things going for Behrend and then 40 seconds later made a layup to record his 1,000th and 1,001st point. He was named to the All-Tournament team for his performace throughout the last three games. Pullium becomes the 19th player in Lions history to surpass 1,000 points and now sits 17th all-time with 1,009.
Stockton and Behrend began the first half with fire, exchanging the lead multiple times after seven of the first ten shots made were three's. It wasn't until the 12:17 mark when the Lions began to gain some ground on the Ospreys. They scored three straight backets to take a 24-16 lead.
A few minutes later, the Lions strung together another run, outscoring Stockton 8-2 to make it 12-point ballgame with 4:30 left to play. Behrend would keep the pressure for the remainder of the half to take a 38-28 into the break.
After a scoreless two and a half minutes to begin the second, Justin Gorny (South Park, PA/South Park) got things going for the Lions with a three. However, the Ospreys answered with a triple of their own that sparked a 14-4 run to bring the game back within five, 45-40.
For the next six minutes, Stockton continued to chip away at the Lions lead and eventually tied the game up 56-all with a Kashaun Barnes three. Barnes finished with 25 points and was named the ECAC Tournament MVP.
For the next five minutes Stockton and Behrend traded the leads and were tied four times, but another Ospreys three at the 1:33 point gave them their final lead of the game, making the score 71-68. Mike Fischer (Wexford, PA/North Allegheny) answered with a layup to bring the game back within one, but Stockton's Brandon Hamilton converted an and-one layup to take their lead back to four.
Pullium finished the game with 13 points after going 6-for-11 from the field. Niland scored 12 and went a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line while gathering four assists.
Fischer scored a team-high 15 points in the game after shooting 75 percent (6-for-8) from the field and dished out three assists. He also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.
Gorny finished with 13 points and five boards.