ERIE, Pa. - Nick Thorsen (Bethel Park, PA/Bethel Park) hit a career-high six threes to lead the Penn St. Behrend men's basketball team past Pitt-Bradford 65-39 on Tuesday night in the first round of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) playoffs.
The Lions (15-10) hit a season-high 14 threes and held the Panthers to just 27.8 percent shooting from the field.
Thorsen got it going early hitting three triples in the opening stanza. Chris Rader (Wexford, PA/Pine-Richland) got in on action early hitting two of his own from long range. By the midway point, the score was only 14-7 but Behrend found its stroke over the next five minutes.
After Rader nailed his second three of the half, Thorsen hit three in a row from beyond the arc to cap a 14-2 run and suddenly the Lions had doubled up Pitt-Bradford 28-14. After a made bucket by the Panthers, Evan Eaton (Mt. Lebanon, PA/Mt. Lebanon) and Russ Conley (Transfer, PA/Reynolds) hit back to back layups to push the lead to 16 at the break.
With the second half underway, Behrend still had some hot shooting left. The Lions opened up a 16-5 run fueled by Conley who netted seven quick points. Once again, Thorsen ended the run with another three. Late in the half, Nick DeLisio (Aliquippa, PA/Central Valley) started to get hot with two more threes to push the lead to 30. Over the final five minutes, the two teams traded baskets with the Behrend cruising to the victory.
Through 24 games this season, the Lions shot just 29.2 percent from three but tonight were able to scorch the nets for 50 percent.
Behrend's nationally ranked defense did not allow a single Pitt-Bradford player to score in double figures.
Thorsen led all scorers with a career-high 18 points. Conley contributed 12 with DeLisio chipping in 10.
The Lions will travel to Medaille on Friday to take on No. 2 La Roche in the AMCC semifinals at 8 p.m.