ERIE, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend men's basketball team shot 57.8 percent from the floor to beat Westminster 75-68 in non-conference action Saturday night at the Junker Center. Russ Conley recorded a game-high 24 points and added seven boards to help the men remain undefeated.
Justin Kovac tallied 13 points and three steals for the Lions (4-0) while Christian Shea, Anthony Thomas and Doug Smith all posted double-digits for the Titans (1-3). Shea went 5-for-7 from behind the arc to end the game with 19 points. Thomas recorded 13 points and two steals to go along with Smith's 12 points and four assists.
Behrend came out on top of a close first half that saw five lead changes and four ties with the help of three-pointers by two Nick's. Nick Dvorsky's and Nick Thorsen's long-range shooting contributed to a 10-0 Lion run with less than six minutes to go in the half which gave the men a 28-22 advantage. A jumper by Anthony Defelice with 3:18 on the clock ended the surge but another three by Thorsen sent Behrend into the locker room on top, 33-28.
A Conley dunk with 6:51 to go in the second half put the Lions up 60-46, their largest lead of the night. Over the next three minutes the Titans poured in 13 points led by Rob Briggs who accounted for six points, a steal and the assist on a triple by Christian Shea to leave Westminster down only four points, 63-59.
Up 68-62 with 34 seconds to play, Kovac was sent to the line to shoot 1-and-1. A technical foul was then assessed to the Titan's Doug Smith to gift Kovac two more attempts. He netted three of the four to wrap up the Lions' fourth straight win, 75-68.
Behrend returns to action December 1 taking on last year's Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference champs, Medaille at 8 p.m. on the Mavericks home floor.