ERIE, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend men's basketball team defeated Medaille 63-58 for the second time this season in this Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) showdown on Wednesday evening.
With 1:18 left in the game, Mike Fischer (Wexford, PA/North Allegheny) shimmied his way to the hoop and buried a layup to put the Lions (17-3, 12-1 AMCC) up by five, 57-52. The Mavericks (12-8, 9-4 AMCC) continued to battle, but late foul shooting helped Behrend ice the game, picking its fifth-straight win while also snapping Medaille's seven game winning streak.
Fischer had himself a big second half, shooting 6-of-8 from the field to tally 14 of his career-high 19 points. He ended the game with a 66.7 percent shooting percentage while also adding six helpers and three rebounds on the night.
Forward Dan Wanker (Pittsburgh, PA/South Park) posted his second consecutive double-digit rebounding performance, and third career double-double with 16 points and 10 boards in the win.
Justin Gorny (South Park, PA/South Park) contributed throughout the match with an 11-point and seven-rebound game.
The game came right down to the wire, very similar to the first meeting between these two teams. The Lions jumped out to a quick 15-point advantage in the midst of the first half, 23-8. However, the Mavericks scratched and clawed their way back into the contest, putting together a 16-5 run to cut the lead to four with just under four minutes left in the half.
Behrend edged Medaille 8-5 in the remaining minutes of the first, making the score 36-29 heading into the locker room. The Lions shot 46.7 percent from both the field and from behind the arc, while the Mavericks shot 42.9 percent from both the floor and three-point range.
As for the second half, it was a back and forth grind from the moment the whistle blew. Medaille inched its way, cutting the deficit smaller and smaller, until Jonathan Smith converted on a layup at the 7:34 mark to give the Mavericks a two-point advantage.
Malike Brinson (Erie, PA/Central Tech) immediately retaliated the next possession by drilling the only Behrend second-half three-pointer, regaining the lead.
With 5:03 remaining, former Hilbert player, Jalen Smith, was fouled while shooting a three and was awarded three free throws. After making two of the three, Derrick Clark (Erie, PA/Central Tech) hustled down the court and passed it to Gorny for a layup, which took the lead for the remainder of the game.
Both teams made one three-point each in the second half. The Lions finished the game shooting 38.7 percent from the floor, while the Mavericks shot slightly better with a 40.3 percent average.
Behrend is looking to add another conference win this Saturday when they head to Pitt-Greensburg. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.