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Lions Step Up in Gritty 75-71 Win at Mount Saint Vincent
11/24/2013 — RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Penn State Altoona men's basketball hit shots when it counted most on Sunday afternoon, defeating non-conference College of Mount Saint Vincent 75-71 at the Peter Jay Sharp Center.
After leading most of the game, the Lions fell behind late in the second half. But the team mustered several clutch scores in the closing minutes to pull ahead and escape with a victory.
Jonathan Ross (Columbia, SC/Cross Creek) led Penn State Altoona with 23 points and grabbed four rebounds.
Dylan Leazier (Hagerstown, MD/St. Maria Goretti) added 19 points and five boards, and Evan Greening (Stafford, VA/Stafford) put up 18 and seven.
Michael Wigfield (Beaver Valley, PA/Glendale) secured a game-high 10 rebounds and also led his team with three blocked shots.
Tay Charles (Chambersburg, PA/Chambersburg) dished out a game-high seven assists.
Penn State Altoona came out strong in the early stages of the first half. Greening's fast break layup, followed by a free throw, put the Lions up 6-2 at 17:55.
Leazier's three-pointer at 16:03 game his team a six point advantage, and Charles' fast break bucket and Wigfield's jumper extended Penn State Altoona's lead to 16-6 by the 13:30 mark.
Wigfield's layup at 8:25 increased his team's lead to 12 points, 28-16. Less than a minute later, Charles sank a pair of foul shots to make it 30-17.
But Mount Saint Vincent pulled itself together and went off on a 19-9 run to narrow Penn State Altoona's lead to 39-36 with 2:03 left in the half. Christian Giles accounted for seven of his team's points during that stretch.
Greening's three-point play with 59 seconds left in the period gave the Lions a little breathing room, and they hit the locker room with a 42-36 halftime lead.
Penn State Altoona maintained a modest lead for much of the second half. A couple Leazier jump shots and a foul shot from Charles kept the Lions up 47-42 at 14:20.
Back-to-back scores by Leazier and Greening made it 55-48 at 10:33. A jumper from Ross and another three-pointer by Leazier kept Penn State Altoona in the lead 60-52 with 9:04 to play.
But the Dolphins rallied for a 12-2 run to take their first lead since the 18:48 mark of the first half. Giles' layup and foul shot at 8:55 made it a five point game, and his score at 6:47 tied the game 62-62. At 6:07, he added two free throws to put Mount Saint Vincent up 64-62.
A jumper from Greening and free throws by Ross helped Penn State Altoona tie the game 66-66 at 4:21, and Greening's layup at 3:07 kept the game tied at 68.
After a Brandon Serrano foul shot, Leazier came back to hit two free throws and give his team a 70-69 lead. Ross hit a jumper at 1:34 to keep the Lions' advantage at one, 72-71, then he hit three-of-four foul shots in the final 35 seconds to help ice Penn State Altoona's win.
The Lions won despite losing the turnover battle (23-13), being outscored in the paint (32-20), and giving up more points off of turnovers (19-6). But Penn State Altoona won 19-9 in second chance points, and the team was aided by an 18-for-22 performance at the charity stripe.
Photo: Penn State Altoona junior guard Jonathan Ross scored 23 points to lead his team on Sunday in a win over Mount Saint Vincent.