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Behrend's Rally Overtakes Lions' 21-Point Lead, Eliminating Penn State Altoona from Playoff Contention
2/16/2013 — ERIE, Pa. - Penn State Altoona men's basketball suffered a heartbreaking 61-52 loss to Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference rival Penn State Behrend on Saturday afternoon at the Junker Center.
The Lions were looking to do something they had never done before in program history -- defeat Behrend on their home court. With a win, Penn State Altoona would have clinched the sixth and final seed in the AMCC Tournament, but the loss knocks the Lions out of contention.
Durant Harvin (Baltimore, MD/Franklin) led all scorers with 20 points, and Jonathan Ross (Columbia, SC/Cross Creek) added 17.
John Brennan (Philadelphia, PA/St. John Neumann-Goretti) grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
It was truly a tale of two halves for Penn State Altoona. The team led by as many as 21 points before going cold and allowing Behrend to get back into the game.
In the first half, the Lions shot 54.5% from the field, including going 6-for-11 from three-point range. The team also held Behrend to just a 32.0% field goal percentage in the first period.
Ross' three at the 15:00 mark gave Penn State Altoona a 9-6 lead. One minute later, he connected for another trey and followed with a jump shot to give his team a 14-8 advantage.
Mitch Moyer (Port Matilda, PA/Bald Eagle) made a three-pointer of his own at 7:46, increasing the Lions' lead to 24-13.
Two more three-pointers by Ross over the next four minutes helped Penn State Altoona hold its 11 point advantage over Behrend.
Harvin's layup with 1:03 left in the period gave the Lions their largest lead of the half, 32-19.
Penn State Altoona continued to dominate play early in the second half. Matt Gehret (Altoona, PA/Altoona) scored a layup at 16:42. Less than a minute later, Ross made his fifth three-pointer of the game and Brennan hit a jumper to give the Lions their biggest lead of the day, 42-21.
But things began to unwind for Penn State Altoona. Behrend reeled off a devastating 23-0 run that began at the 15:17 mark and stretched to 7:05 when Brennan hit a foul shot to snap his team's scoreless streak.
The home team's offense awoke to shoot 61.9% from the field in the second period. In turn, they limited Penn State Altoona to a 35.0% field goal percentage in the second by switching to a zone defense.
The Lions continued to keep the game close over the next several minutes. Harvin connected from beyond the arc at 5:02 to give his team a 47-46 lead.
But Behrend outscored Penn State Altoona 15-5 over the last five minutes of the game, building a lead while stamping out the Lions' comeback hopes.
Photo: Penn State Altoona senior guard Durant Harvin led all scorers with 20 points on Saturday.