Stifling Defense Gives Lions Fifth Straight Win
ERIE, Pa. - The Penn State Behrend men's basketball team defeated Mt. Aloysius 70-48 on Saturday afternoon in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) action.
The Lions (14-10, 13-5 AMCC) held the nation's sixth best scoring team 42 points below their season average.
Behrend came out fast in the opening stanza, storming out to a 15-point lead by the half way mark. Russ Conley (Transfer, PA/Reynolds) scored seven of the team's first nine points. The Lions and Mounties traded baskets for the rest of the first half with Behrend holding a 34-16 lead at the break. Nick Thorsen (Bethel Park, PA/Bethel Park) nailed a season-high three triples in the first half.
With the second half underway, Behrend continued to build on their lead. Evan Eaton (Mt. Lebanon, PA/Mt. Lebanon) and Conley netted the team's first 14 points. By the halfway mark, Behrend had extended the lead to 28 after Dan Simpson (Pittsburg, PA/Upper St. Clair) hit a three. The Lions then turned to their defense, which ranks fifth in the country in points allowed, to secure the easy victory.
Throughout most of the game, Behrend relied on that nationally ranked defense to hold Mt. Aloysius to just 32.1 percent shooting from the field. Keith Wallace (Washington, DC/Central Tech – Erie) led the way with a career-high seven steals.
Conley finished the game with 26 points and 13 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the year. Thorsen scored in double figures as well contributing 10.
The Lions had the No. 3 seed locked up before the game and will host No. 6 Pitt-Bradford on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Junker Center in the first round of the AMCC playoffs.