Penn State Behrend Men's Basketball Set to Host First Round of ECAC Tournament
The Penn State Behrend men's basketball team is set to host the first round of the 2010 ECAC Basketball Tournament on Wednesday, March 3 at the Junker Center at 7:00 p.m. Behrend drew the third overall seed and will face the number six seed in Misericordia University.
The blue and white were eliminated from the AMCC Tournament in a semifinal matchup with the Pitt-Bradford Panthers. The Behrend Lions (18-8) were also the three seed in the conference tournament after finishing the AMCC regular season with a conference mark of 14-6. This year's postseason berth marks the thirteenth time out of fourteen years that the men's basketball program has either participated in the NCAA or ECAC Tournament.
Behrend competed in the ECAC Tournament a year ago and were victorious in their opening round game against Bethany by a score of 73-69. The blue and white were eventually knocked out the tournament by the number one seed, Cabrini College.
Head Coach Dave Niland, who won his 300th game at Behrend in the opening round of the AMCC tournament on February 25 said, "This is a strong region and you have to have a good year to get into the tournament. Having the chance to win a championship is exciting."
Behrend is led by junior forward Chris Saltzman (Pittsburgh/Central Catholic) who averages 14.2 ppg and 5.2 rpg. Seniors Adam Potter (Pittsburgh/Mt.Lebanon) and Adam Kaiser (Erie/Cathedral Prep) have been productive with Kaiser leading the squad in three-point field goals made with 65 and Potter averaging nearly ten points a game. Junior guard Justin Kovac (Venetia/Peters Twp.) leads the team in assists with 110 and currently ranks number one in the nation in assist/turnover ratio (4.48).
Misericordia comes into Wednesday nights game having lost its previous game to DeSales in their conference championship game. The Cougars finished the regular season at 16-11 and 9-5 in their respective conference. They have four players scoring in double figures with Dom Del Prete (16.9), Jeff Slanovec (12.0), Robbie Johnson (10.8) and Ethan Eichhorst (10.7) all providing valuable scoring for their team.
The seven team tournament will see four three opening round games with Catholic University receiving a bye as the number one overall seed. The three winners will advance to Saturday for the semifinals and the final two will play the championship game on Sunday.
2009-2010 ECAC South Men's Basketball Tournament
#1 Catholic - Bye
#2 Bethany vs. #7 Neumann
#3 Penn State Behrend vs. #6 Misericordia
#4 Pitt-Bradford vs. #5 Alvernia