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Lions Fend Off Barons for 83-79 Win
1/8/2014 — ALTOONA, Pa. - Penn State Altoona men's basketball notched its first Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference victory of the season on Wednesday night, defeating Franciscan University 83-79 in a back-and-forth game in the Adler Gym.
The Lions' Dylan Leazier (Hagerstown, MD/St. Maria Goretti) led all scorers with 23 points, the most he has scored for Penn State Altoona in a game during his first year with the program.
Evan Greening (Stafford, VA/Stafford) produced a double-double for the third straight game and the fifth time in his last six contests, scoring 18 points to go along with 13 rebounds.
Jordan Smith (Pittsburgh, PA/Taylor Allderdice) added 12 points for the Lions, and Jonathan Ross (Columbia, SC/Cross Creek) contributed 11.
Michael Wigfield (Beaver Valley, PA/Glendale) secured 11 rebounds.
Penn State Altoona held a modest lead for much of the first half. Wigfield's layup at 11:22 capped an 11-0 run to give the Lions an 18-8 lead. Scores by Wigfield and Greening made it 30-21 by the 6:10 mark.
Franciscan awoke for a 13-2 run, taking its first lead of the night on Timmy Schenk's three-pointer at 3:13. Justin Horstman's fastbreak layup at 2:32 increased the Barons' advantage to five points, 39-34.
But the Lions closed out the half with a 10-2 scoring edge, getting late scores by Smith and Leazier to enter the locker room with a 44-41 lead.
The Barons opened the second half with back-to-back scores, getting a layup from Joseph Rine and a jumper from Horstman to take a 45-44 lead.
But Penn State Altoona went on a 12-2 run to reclaim the advantage, getting three baskets from Greening during that span.
The momentum shifted again, as the Barons reeled off a 20-3 run to retake the lead. Three straight scores by Daniel Kleinschnitz -- a layup and two three-pointers -- helped put the visitors back on top, and Schenk's trey made it 72-63. Just over a minute later, Schenk connected from three-point range again to give Franciscan its largest lead of the night, 77-67.
But the Lions bounced back to overcome another deficit, going on a decisive 12-0 run to get back in front. Leazier and Ross accounted for a combined 11 points during the rally.
Franciscan closed the gap to two points, 81-79, with four seconds left. But Leazier helped widen the gap just enough, sinking a pair of foul shots to put the game just out of reach for the Barons.
The victory snaps a seven-game skid for Penn State Altoona.
Photo (by Anna Kepner): Penn State Altoona freshman forward Evan Greening makes a move in the paint during Wednesday night's game against Franciscan University in the Adler Gym.