CRESSON, Pa. – The No. 24 Penn State Behrend men's basketball team dropped their second consecutive game; falling to Pitt-Greensburg Saturday in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) action to close out their regular season.
The Lions (20-4, 14-4 AMCC) locked up the No. 2 seed for the AMCC playoffs that start next week. With the No. 2 seed, they get a first-round bye and will play the winner of No. 3 Pitt-Greensburg vs No. 6 Medaille.
Against the Bobcats (16-9, 13-5 AMCC), Andy Niland (Fairview, PA/Fairview) posted a team-best 16 points. He also added six rebounds and three assists.
Zane Hackett (Brookville, PA/Brookville) finished the final regular season game of his career with his 16th double-double of the season, scoring 13 points and bringing down 10 boards. He added three assists, a block and a steal.
Malquan Pullium (Erie, PA/Strong Vincent) matched Hackett's 13 points to go along with five rebounds and one block, steal and assist a piece. Justin Gorny (South Park, PA/South Park) and Matt Colpoys (Erie, PA/Cathedral Prep) each added seven points. Gorny had six boards and Colpoys dished two assists.
Off the bench for Pitt-Greensburg, Mike Connelly dropped a game-high 26 points, draining eight threes and adding six rebounds.
The game was a tight battle throughout, with 23 lead changes and 12 ties making the game dramatic until the end. They entire match was played within 11 points. Behrend's biggest lead was six points and the Bobcats finished the game with their biggest lead of five.
Greensburg lived by the deep ball and the Lions fell by it. The Bobcats went 15-of-37 from behind the arc compared to only 5-for-21 for Behrend.
Pitt-Greensburg made a layup as the first half time ran out to take a 43-42 lead into the break. The one-point deficit was only the fourth time this season the Lions trailed at halftime. Just like the first half, both teams traded buckets for the entire second half.
With 30 seconds left, Niland made a basket to bring their deficit back to one at 73-72. Behrend was forced to foul in the remaining seconds so the Bobcats did not just run out the clock. They made all of their four free throw attempts to close out the game and finish their senior day on a high note.
The Lions return to action Saturday for their semifinal matchup. Hilbert is the No. 1 seed and will host the AMCC Final Four. Times are TDB.