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Lions Overcome Deficit to Defeat Kean 71-65 for First Win of 2012
11/17/2012 — HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Penn State Altoona men's basketball trailed by as many as 12 points to Kean University on Saturday afternoon in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Juniata College, but the Lions came roaring back in the second half to win 71-65 at the Kennedy Sports and Recreation Center.
Jonathan Ross (Columbia, SC/Cross Creek) led all scorers with 24 points for Penn State Altoona.
Matt Gehret (Altoona, PA/Altoona) added 14 points and a team-high nine rebounds and three blocks for the Lions, while Durant Harvin (Baltimore, MD/Franklin) scored 13 to go along with a team-best six assists.
Kean came out strong in the first half, building a 21-9 lead by the 10:19 mark when J.J. Hladik connected from three-point range.
Ross' trey two minutes later capped an 8-0 run for Penn State Altoona, narrowing the score to 21-17. Ross went 6-for-9 from three-point range for the Lions during the game.
But Kean increased their lead, taking a 34-22 advantage with 1:29 left in the half after a Mike Diamond three-pointer.
John Brennan's (Philadelphia, PA/St. John Neumann-Goretti) layup with 32 seconds remaining in the period helped cut Penn State Altoona's deficit to 34-26 by halftime.
Brennan helped draw his team closer early in the second half. His fastbreak layup at 17:19 made it a six point game, 38-32.
Gehret hit a jumper for the Lions just over two minutes later to bring his team to within five points.
After Kean's Frank Nock hit a three at 14:42 to make it 46-38, the Lions went on an 8-0 run to tie the game. Jordan Wells' (Columbia, MD/Atholton) steal led to another Brennan layup, then Ross hit back-to-back three-pointers for his team to tie the game 46-46 at 12:41.
Ross made his third straight three-point shot at 11:57 to put Penn State Altoona up 49-48, the team's first lead since the beginning of the first half.
Penn State Altoona embarked on a 9-2 run from that point. Gehret's dunk at 8:58 gave the Lions their largest lead of the game, 58-50.
After two Kean free throws, Ross hit from three-point land again to put his team ahead 61-52 with 8:19 left.
But the Cougars clawed their way back to tie the game 61-61 at 5:36. Michael Burton hit a jump shot and a three-pointer on back-to-back possessions to knot the score.
With 1:42 to play, Kyle Latorre gave Kean a 65-64 lead with his layup.
Harvin hit a pair of free throws to put Penn State Altoona back on top by a score of 66-65 with 1:04 to go.
After another Harvin foul shot, Wells converted a three-point play to provide some cushion to the Lions' lead. His layup and ensuing free throw gave the Lions at 70-65 lead with 22 seconds remaining.
Penn State Altoona held the Cougars scoreless on their next possesion, and Harvin added another free throw to increase the Lions' lead to 71-65 with just 10 seconds left in the game.
Penn State Altoona shot 51% from the field during the game, including a 59.3% field goal percentage during their second half comeback. Only four of their 13 turnovers occurred in the second period, assisting their strong showing during that period.