Hamburg, NY - For the second time this season, the Penn State Behrend men's basketball team defeated Hilbert in overtime, this time by a score of 69-66 on Wednesday night in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) action.
The Lions (9-9, 8-4 AMCC) shot a season best 58.7 percent from the floor to even their record.
Behrend came out fast to start the contest. After to back to back triples by Nick DeLisio (Aliquippa, PA/Central Valley) and Casey Courneen (Sewickley, PA/Quaker Valley), the Lions had doubled up Hilbert 20-10 through the first eight minutes.
Courneen continued to dominate, scoring the next seven Behrend points to further extend the lead. The Lions had their biggest advantage of the opening stanza after Adam Palcic (Greensburg, PA/Greensburg Central Catholic) connected on a layup. However, the Hawks would score the final five points of the half to cut the deficit to 10 at the break.
With the second half underway, Hilbert found an answer. The Hawks were quickly able to tie and eventually take the lead after starting the second 20 minutes on a 22-7 run. After Chris Parrot hit a jumper, Hilbert had pushed their lead to as many as seven with 10 minutes to play.
The Lions slowly chipped away, finally pulling ahead by two after Russ Conley (Transfer, PA/Reynolds) hit three consecutive layups. Jordan VanDunk answered with a layup of his own to tie the game with one minute to play. After a Behrend miss, the Lions were able to fend off a last second attempt to force overtime.
In the extra session, Behrend clamped down on defense allowing just three points. With the score tied at 65-all, Conley hit a layup followed by two clutch free throw with 27 seconds left to secure the victory.
Despite losing the rebounding battle and committing more turnovers, the Lions shot a sizzling 65 percent in the first half to gain the edge.
Conley led Behrend with 18 points and six rebounds. DeLisio finished with 16 points, scoring in double figures for the third straight game. Courneen also had a big day, contributing 13 points.
The Lions will be back in action on Saturday. Behrend will travel to La Roche for a tip-off scheduled for 1 p.m.