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Lions' Second Half Rally Sinks Pitt-Bradford 59-53
12/1/2012 — ALTOONA, Pa. - Penn State Altoona men's basketball trailed by as many as 11 points to Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference rival Pitt-Bradford on Saturday afternoon, but the Lions posted a comeback and sealed a 59-53 win in the Adler Gym.
With the win, Penn State Altoona jumps to 2-0 in the AMCC and 3-2 overall.
Matt Gehret (Altoona, PA/Altoona) recorded a double-double for Penn State Altoona, posting game-highs with 14 points and 11 rebounds. He also blocked a career-best six shots.
Durant Harvin (Baltimore, MD/Franklin) added 13 points for the Lions, and John Brennan (Philadelphia, PA/St. John Neumann-Goretti) grabbed nine rebounds and dished out a career-high nine assists.
Penn State Altoona held a modest lead during the early minutes of the first half. Mitch Moyer (Port Matilda, PA/Bald Eagle) hit a three-pointer at 15:33 to put his team up 9-7. Later, Justin Van Houten's (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks East) layup put the Lions up 11-9 at 13:52.
But Pitt-Bradford rallied for an 11-3 run from that point. PJ Blanch's fastbreak layup at 10:53 put the visitors up 20-14.
Brandon McClester's back-to-back layups and Tyler Ferguson's score helped the Panthers increase their lead to 30-19 with 4:55 to go until halftime.
Holding a 31-24 lead at the intermission, Keith Burgess scored a layup nine seconds into the second half to give Pitt-Bradford a nine point advantage.
But Penn State Altoona began to chip away at the Panthers' lead. Harvin's three-point play at 16:07 narrowed the gap to 35-31.
Two and a half minutes later, Jonathan Ross (Columbia, SC/Cross Creek) made a layup to keep the distance between the teams' scores at four points.
Van Houten hit a three at the 12:00 mark to make it a two point game, 38-36. At 9:31, he connected from three-point range again to cut Pitt-Bradford's lead to 42-41.
Gehret's layup gave Penn State Altoona a brief 43-42 lead at 8:55, but the Panthers bounced back and took off on a 9-0 run, capped by Jesse DeLoof's trey at 7:11.
But the Lions responded and reeled off a 16-2 run, reclaiming the lead. A pair of layups by Gehret helped cut his team's deficit to two points. Harvin hit a three-pointer with 1:37 to play to put Penn State Altoona back on top, 54-53, and bring the packed crowd in the Adler Gym to its feet.
Ross' steal and fastbreak layup at 1:16 made it 56-53, and free throws by Ross and Jordan Wells (Columbia, MD/Atholton) provided some insurance for the Lions in the closing seconds.
Penn State Altoona outrebounded Pitt-Bradford 38-28, including a 16-8 advantage in offensive rebounds. That translated into plenty of second chance attempts for the Lions, who held a 16-7 lead in second chance points.
Photo: Penn State Altoona senior Matt Gehret posted game-highs with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and six blocks on Saturday against Pitt-Bradford.