ALTOONA, Pa. - The Penn State Behrend men's basketball team defeated Penn State Altoona 86-68 on Saturday afternoon, securing the No. 2 seed in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) playoffs.
In the final regular season game of the season, the Lions (19-6, 14-4 AMCC) bounced out of their three-game slump to take down the Lions (17-8, 13-5 AMCC). Andy Niland (Fairview, PA/Fairview) provided a spark coming off the bench for Behrend, shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from the field, including 2-for-2 from behind the arc. He also dished out six assists throughout the game.
Four other Behrend players scored in the double-figures in the contest. Malike Brinson (Erie, PA/Central Tech) knocked down 5-of-8 three-pointers, notching 15 points. He continued in the game by pulling down six boards, adding three assists, and tallying one steal.
Justin Gorny (South Park, PA/South Park) and Dan Wanker (Pittsburgh, PA/South Park) each posted 14 points. Gorny shot 55.6 percent from the field while Wanker shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor. Gorny snagged five rebounds and two steals, and Wanker grabbed three boards.
Mike Fischer (Wexford, PA/North Allegheny) had himself a day as well. He recorded 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, pulled down a season-high eight rebounds, and handed out seven assists.
As a team, the Lions shot a season-best 58.8 percent from the floor, making 30 baskets. Of those 30 made baskets, nearly half (13) were three-pointers. Behrend was on fire from deep, especially in the first-half.
At an 18-15 game, Behrend went on an 18-4 run for the next eight minutes to push the game to 36-19, where four of their six baskets were triples.
The Lions went into halftime with a 48-31 advantage, tying their largest first halftime output of the season. Behrend shot 62.1 percent from the field, while Altoona recorded a 48.0 percent field-goal percentage at the break.
Altoona came out hot in early going of the second half, holding an 8-2 edge through the first four minutes. After cutting the lead to eight points midway through the second, Behrend settled in, and back-to-back threes from Brinson pushed the score to 63-52. Behrend held control for the remainder of the match.
The second half was evenly played, Behrend slightly edging Altoona in points, 38-37. At the end of the game, Behrend defeated Altoona in every major category.
The Lions return to action Saturday for their semifinal matchup between the winner of the No. 3, Medaille, and No. 6, Mount Aloysius. La Roche is the No. 1 seed and will host the AMCC Final Four. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m.