Behrend Pulls Off Overtime Win at Altoona

Behrend Pulls Off Overtime Win at Altoona

ALTOONA, Pa. – Tommy DiRienzo's (Pittsburgh, PA/Bethel Park) turnaround jumper with four seconds left in overtime was the difference for the Penn State Behrend men's basketball team in an 83-82 victory at Penn State Altoona Saturday afternoon.

Score: Penn State Behrend 83, Penn State Altoona 82

Records: Penn State Behrend (17-6, 12-4 AMCC), Penn State Altoona (9-14, 8-8 AMCC)

Key Moments:

* With a minute left in regulation and the score knotted at 70 apiece, Mason Blankenberg (Ontario, NY/Wayne) followed a missed shot for an easy layup giving Behrend the two-point advantage
* However, at the other end Jarrett Gardner recorded a layup of his own to tie the score back up at 72
* Altoona had a chance to win the game with four seconds left in regulation, taking the ball out underneath their basket, but Behrend forced a turnover to send the game to overtime
* To start overtime, Altoona jumped out to a four-point lead (76-72) with a pair of layups from Gardner
* DiRienzo put the Lions right back in the game with a three-pointer with three minutes reminaing in overtime
* Two made free throws apeice from DiRienzo and Shawn Mason (Webster, NY/Webster Thomas) would give Behrend its first lead of the extra period (79-78)
* Once again, Altoona answered with a pull-up jumper from Charles Abiah to retake the lead (82-81) with 34 seconds left in the contest
* DiRienzo had his number called with the game on the line and responded with the shot clock winding down. He shot a turnaround jumper that bounced around the rim and fell to give Behrend the eventual 83-82 victory
* This marks the third overtime game this season for Behrend with the team's record being 2-1 in extra time
* Five Behrend players scored in double-figures for the first time this year
* Senior guard Matt Niland (Erie, PA/Fairview) recorded a season-high 17 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. Niland scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half.
* DiRienzo and Michael Sopko (New Castle, PA/Neshannock) each finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Blankenberg and Matthew McDonough (Pittsburgh, PA/North Allegheny) each delivered 14 points and five rebounds
* RJ Marsh (State College, PA/Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy) collected eight rebounds and three steals for Behrend
* Gardner notched a double-double for Altoona, finishing with a game-high 22 points and 13 rebounds. All five starters for Altoona registered double-figure scoring performances
* As a team, Behrend outrebounded Altoona (46-37) and capitalized off second chance points (27-13)

Up Next:

* The Lions remain on the road with another pivotal matchup at Alfred St. on Wednesday, Feb. 14. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.