ERIE, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend men's basketball team got back to their winning ways Saturday afternoon after rolling past Allegheny 75-45.
The Lions (3-1) defense held the Gators (2-2) to make only five triples as a team in the game, while shutting them down to shoot a season-low 31.4 percent from the field. Behrend turned their defense into offense by knocking down a season-high 17 triples as a team, including 10 in the second half to outscore Allegheny 41-16.
Justin Gorny (South Park, PA/South Park) led all scorers in the game with 14 points, pulling down four rebounds, dishing out two assists, and making two steals. Dan Wanker (Pittsburgh, PA/South Park) tallied 12 points, nine boards, and three assists while Andy Niland (Fairview, PA/Fairview) had 11 points, nine assists, six rebounds, and three steals.
Allegheny and Behrend kept the game very close in the early minutes, trading buckets and leads throughout the first 13 minutes. The Gators forced two three lead changes, three ties, and a six-point lead to put the Lions on their heels.
A three by Wanker at the 8:08 mark concluded a 13-7 run by Behrend to give them a 22-20 lead with just over eight to play in the half. Zach Shedd converted on a pair of free-throws 40 seconds later even the score at 22-all.
Behrend then started raining threes to jump on a 12-7 run to finish the half. Gorny hit one to push the lead to three followed by a Niland triple on the next possession to give the Lions a six point lead. After Jamison Nee hit a three-pointer, Gorny responded by drilling another three 20 seconds later.
The score was 34-29 in favor of the Lions going into halftime. Behrend shot 41.9 percent from the field compared to Allegheny's 37.9 percent.
The second half was the same story for Behrend. Connor McLaughlin (Ashtabula, OH/Edgewood) went 3-for-4 from behind the arc to help in record nine points off the bench. Kenny Fukon (Cranberry Twp, PA/Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic), Jack Relihan (South Fayette, PA/South Fayette), and Kyle Reese (Allison Park, PA/Hampton) all added points coming off the bench for the Lions.
As a team, the Lions had three people score in double figures. The team shot 43.9 percent in total, 41.5 percent from range, and recorded nine less turnovers. All of these figures aided in giving Behrend their biggest margin of victory of the season (30).
Behrend returns to action Wednesday when they open conference play against. Tip-off will be at 6 p.m.