Erie, Pa. – Adam Palcic (Greensburg, PA/Greensburg Central Catholic) hit a layup off an offensive rebound at the buzzer to give the Lions the 71-69 overtime win against Hilbert in men's Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) action on Wednesday night.
In a back and forth game that was tied twice at the end of both halves, the late bucket was just enough for Behrend to get their second consecutive victory.
The Lions (2-5, 2-1 AMCC) got out to an early advantage right from the tip with Pat St. Andrews (State College, PA/State College) draining a three. Behrend continued to build on their lead, getting up by as many as seven in the first half. Russ Conley (Transfer, PA/Reynolds) dominated down low with 12 first half points.
Hilbert wouldn't go away though, fighting back to eventually take their first lead with 55 seconds remaining in the opening stanza. Evan Eaton (Mt. Lebanon, PA/Mt. Lebanon) answered with a layup to knot the score at 34-all at the break.
The second half would see much of the same results. Both teams continued to trade baskets for the majority of the second 20 minutes. Casey Courneen (Sewickley, PA/Quaker Valley) hit a three with 1:40 to go to put the Lions up by six. The story remained the same however with the Hawks having an answer. Cody Troutman hit a three of his own and Dan McFarland followed with a layup and suddenly it was a one point game with under a minute to go.
Nick Thorsen (Bethel Park, PA/Bethel Park) was fouled putting the senior guard at the line for two. Thorsen hit both clutch free-throws to put Behrend back up by three with 30 seconds remaining. Hilbert came back with a layup by McFarland to cut the deficit to one. After a made free-throw by the Lions, McFarland responded with another huge basket to tie the game. St. Andrews deep three-point attempt at the buzzer hit the back iron forcing the Lions to play their first overtime game of the year.
As the overtime period began, Nick DeLisio (Aliquippa, PA/Central Valley) got Behrend out to a good start with a jumper. Troutman came back with a driving layup to tie the score for the eighth time. DeLisio would then find a cutting Courneen for the layup. After a basket by the Hawks, the Lions had the ball for one shot.
Following a missed three, Palcic crashed the boards hard for the offensive rebound. With time winding down, Palcic put up a shot that found the bottom of the net for the game winner.
Conley led four Behrend players in double figures with 18 points and eight rebounds. Courneen and Eaton both chipped in 10 points with DeLisio contributing 11.
The Lions overcame McFarland and Chris Parrott's combined 45 points to get the win. Despite losing the turnover battle by five, Behrend was able to use strong passing to tally a season high 18 assists.
The Lions will host defending AMCC champion La Roche on Saturday at the Junker Center. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.