ERIE, Pa. - The Penn State Behrend men's basketball team forced 23 turnovers en route to a 66-35 victory over Franciscan on Saturday afternoon in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) action.
The Lions (7-8, 6-3 AMCC) recored a season-high 19 assists on 25 field goals.
Behrend got the offense going quickly, storming out to a 18-5 advantage just seven minutes into the contest. The Lions were able to push their lead to as many as 22 in the opening 20 minutes after Shane Skelly (Westlake, OH/Westlake) hit a layup at the 2:43 mark.
Behrend used a strong defensive effort to hold the Barons to just two points over the final five minutes. The Lions took a 37-16 lead into the locker rooms.
With the second half underway, Behrend was able to again start with a run, outscoring Franciscan 9-2 over the first four minutes. Now with a commanding lead, the Lions relied on their defense to hold the momentum.
After three straight steals by Adam Palcic (Greensburg, PA/Greensburg) and Casey Courneen (Sewickley, PA/Quaker Valley), Behrend scored six in a row to seemingly put the game out of reach. The Lions ended the game with two consecutive threes by Bobby Zajkowski (Culpeper County, VA/Culpeper County) to earn the 66-35 victory.
Russ Conley (Transfer, PA/Reynolds) led all Behrend scorers with 12 points. Evan Eaton (Mt. Lebanon, PA/Mt. Lebanon) contributed nine points and seven rebounds. Skelly and Chris Rader (Wexford, PA/Pine-Richland) also put up nine points each.
The Lions will return to the hardwood on Thursday to face Medaille. The Mavericks defeated Behrend 61-55 earlier this season at the Junker Center. Tip-off for Thursday is set for 6 p.m.