ERIE, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend men's basketball team cruised through their first Thursday night game of the season, defeating D'Youville 69-47 to open the second half of Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) play.
Senior forward Zane Hackett (Brookville, PA/Brookville) became the 19th player in Penn State Behrend men's basketball history to score at least 1,000 career points. He needed three points coming into the game to get to 1,000. After a bucket with a foul with 5:17 left in the first half, Hackett reached the milestone. He later finished with 14 points and eight rebounds to move into 18th on the all-time scoring list.
Justin Gorny (South Park, PA/South Park) set a career-high with 13 rebounds, 11 of which were on the defensive end. He added 12 points to give himself the first double-double of his career. Malquan Pullium (Erie, PA/Strong Vincent) also recorded a double-double with a game-high 16 points and 10 boards.
Andy Niland (Fairview, PA/Fariview) was the fourth Lion (14-1, 9-1 AMCC) player to notch a double digit scoring performance. The freshman scored 13 points and added a game-high four dimes. This marks the seventh time this season Behrend had four players score double figures, a mark that leads them to a 7-0 record in those games.
Senior guard Marcus Clarke of the Spartans (6-10, 4-6 AMCC), who leads the squad in points per game at 12.7, dropped 15 against the Lions, while adding four rebounds and two assists.
A close game early quickly broke out in favor of Behrend. The first 10 minutes was full of both teams trading baskets, not letting either team gain much momentum. At the 9:07 mark, Gorny drained a triple to ignite a Lion run that would give themselves a substantial cushion for the second half.
Before Gorny's three, D'Youville had just retaken the lead in a 16-15 game. The three, a bucket by Pullium and two made shots from the charity strip by Gorny put Behrend on a 23-2 run to close out the half.
The Lions built on the momentum they developed with their huge run in the first to score the first basket in the second to extend the run to 25-2. From there, Behrend's defense would keep their lead in tact without losing an inch. The Lions won the second half by four points and extended their lead by the finish.
A day off and Behrend is back in action at LaRoche on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.