Lions Drop Overtime Thriller To La Roche, 71-69

Lions Drop Overtime Thriller To La Roche, 71-69

ERIE, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend men's basketball team fell to top-ranked La Roche, 71-69, in an overtime thriller in the Junker Center Wednesday night to snap the Lions six-game winning streak.

Score: La Roche 71, Penn State Behrend 69

Records: La Roche (11-9, 10-3 AMCC), Penn State Behrend (13-6, 8-4 AMCC)

Key Moments:

* The Redhawks started the game on an 18-8 run in the first 10 minutes of Wednesday's contest
* Behrend surged back with a 12-5 run of its own in the next three minutes to cut the deficit to 23-20
* The Lions would take a 33-32 lead back to the locker room for halftime
* Mason Blankenberg (Ontario, NY/Wayne) led all scorers in the first half with 12 points and five rebounds
* Behrend began the second half on a 14-7 run to control a 47-39 advantage with 12:25 left in the game
* After the Lions' scoring run, La Roche fought its way back in the game and it was a back-and-forth affair between the two teams as there were eight lead changes and six ties
* It came down to the wire in the AMCC Game of the Week as La Roche possessed the ball with the score knotted at 64 apiece, but the Redhawks missed a pair of layups to send the game to overtime
* In overtime, Bryce Epps and Isaiah Thomas each hit clutch shots to give the Redhawks their conference leading 10th win and ninth straight victory
* Blankenberg led all scorers with a career-high 27 points on 12-21 shooting in a career-best 39 minutes. He also pulled down six rebounds
* Tommy DiRienzo (Pittsburgh, PA/Bethel Park) tallied his 18th double-digit scoring game of the season and 10th contest with 20 or more points, finishing with 25 points to go along with six rebounds
* On the glass, RJ Marsh (State College, PA/Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy) grabbed seven rebounds, while Matthew McDonough (Pittsburgh, PA/North Allegheny) registered five rebounds and four assists. Marsh also recorded three steals on the defensive end
* For the Redhawks, Thomas scored a team-high 21 points, followed by Bryce Epps' 17 and Joe Starzynski's 16 points
* Dominic Elliot (nine) and Michael Brooks (eight) led La Roche in rebounds
* As a team, Behrend outscored the Redhawks in the paint (42-30) and off the bench (29-7)

Up Next:

* The Lions will recognize their four seniors at home on Saturday, Feb. 3 against Pitt-Bradford. The men's game will follow the women's game, which begins at 2 p.m.