ERIE, Pa. – Justin Gorny (South Park, PA/South Park) notched a career-high 26 points on 10-of-11 shooting in the 79-54 victory over Pitt-Greensburg to help the Penn State Behrend men's basketball team extend their winning streak to straight six games.
After trailing at the end of the first half, the Lions (8-1, 4-0 AMCC) clawed their way back to outscore the Bobcats (3-5, 2-3 AMCC) 48-17 in the second half. Behrend's number two ranked defense held Greensburg to shoot 29.2 percent on 7-of-24 from the floor in the second, including 23.1 percent from behind the arc.
Along with tallying personal best shooting performance, Gorny pulled down a team-high six rebounds. Malike Brinson (Erie, PA/Central Tech) tabbed career-highs in points (15), assists (8), and field-goals made (5), while also tying career-high with four steals and knocking down three buckets from behind the arc.
Freshman Kyle Reese (Allison Park, PA/Hampton) shot a career-best 3-of-5 from three point range to give him 11 points in the game. Mike Fischer (Wexford, PA/North Allegheny) recorded a double-digit scoring performance after shooting a perfect 4-for-4 in the second half to record 10 points.
It was an uncharacteristic start for the Lions, getting outscored 37-31 to the Bobcats in the first half. At the helm for Greensburg was senior Joe Mancini. He knocked down 5-of-7 three pointers for 15 first half points. However, Mancini was held scoreless in the second half, finishing the game with 15 points.
In the closing four minutes of the first, threes from Brinson, Gorny, and Andy Niland (Fairview, PA/Fairview) contributed to a Behrend 11-0 run to close out the first.
At one point in the first half, as a team, Greensburg was shooting 83 percent from the field. The Bobcats ended the half shooting 53.8 percent while notching 8-of-15 threes, compared to the Lions 41.9 percent and 5-of-14 from three point range.
At the start of the second, Behrend's firepower picked up where it left off at. A Niland three pointer followed by a Fischer layup cut the deficit to three just under two minutes in.
At the 14:50 mark, Dan Wanker (Pittsburgh, PA/South Park) buried a three to give the Lions a 44-42 lead, but was quickly answered by a Bobcat player to even the score.
Exactly two minutes later, Fischer dished a pass over to Brinson who drilled a three, giving the Lions a 47-44 lead that they would not surrender.
Throughout the opening 12 minutes of the second, the Lions went on a 30-9 run to push the score the 61-49.
Starting back at the 4:23 mark in the first half until the end of the contest, Behrend outscored Greensburg 59-17.
Behrend buried 10 three-pointers in the second half, finishing the game shooting 15-of-30 from long range. As a team, the Lions forced 24 turnovers and recorded 24 assists.
Behrend is back in action for the Holiday Shootout in Miami, Florida when they face off against Eastern Connecticut State on Tuesday December 19. Tip-off is set for noon.