ERIE, Pa. – Dan Wanker (Pittsburgh, PA/South Park) tied his career-high with 19 points as the Penn State Behrend men's basketball team defeated D'Youville 86-54 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) opening game.
Wanker notched a career-high eight field goals, shooting 61.5 percent from the floor and added seven rebounds. Justin Gorny (South Park, PA/South Park) tallied 18 points after shooting 8-for-9 from the field and 1-1 from behind the arc. He pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.
Junior guard Andy Niland (Fairview, PA/Fairview) drained three three's for 13 points and dished out eight assists. Connor McLaughlin (Ashtabula, OH/Edgewood) provided life off the bench for the Lions (4-1, 1-0 AMCC). He scored 10 points, including two three pointers and also grabbed two boards.
The Spartans (2-4, 0-1 AMCC) played Behrend strong for the majority of the first half, but were unable to contain the overwhelming Lions offense down the stretch.
After Behrend registered the first bucket of the game, D'Youville answered by going on a 12-6 run for the next four minutes. Gorny responded by scoring the next nine points for the Lions to bring the score 17-16 in favor of the Behrend with 9:46 left in the first half.
Once the Lions took the lead, they never looked back. Three pointers from Niland, Wanker, and McLaughlin helped Behrend steadily build a solid lead over the course of the first 20 minutes. The Lions tallied their largest lead of the half on a Wanker layup with 14 seconds remaining in the first, putting them up 40-26.
Behrend finished the half shooting 57.1 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from behind the arc, with Wanker leading the way with 14 points. D'Youville's Darrius Hartzog scored eight in the first, but only managed to score two more in the second half, finishing with 10.
The Lions continued their play throughout the second half, extending the lead to 24 points with 7:10 remaining coming from a Mike Fischer (Wexford, PA/North Allegheny) jumper. Behrend held their double-figure lead the entire second half. Nick Wright (McLean, VA/Flint Hill) drove in a shot with 23 second left in the game to give the Lions a 34-point lead, their largest of the night.
The Lions shot 51.5 percent from the field as a team in the second half, and outscored the Spartans 46-18 in the paint.
Behrend will be back in action this Saturday when face off against Franciscan. Game time is set for 1 p.m.