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Sluggish Second Half Plagues Lions in 67-54 Loss at La Roche
1/29/2014 — PITTSBURGH, Pa. - After trailing by just two points at halftime of Wednesday night's game against Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference foe La Roche College, Penn State Altoona men's basketball struggled to find its rhythm in the second half and let the game slip away, losing 67-54 in the Kerr Fitness Center.
Evan Greening (Stafford, VA/Stafford) led the Lions with 20 points and 12 rebounds, recording his third consecutive double-double and ninth overall this season. He also led the team in assists with four.
Dylan Leazier (Hagerstown, MD/St. Maria Goretti) added 10 points, and Anton Lucas (Alexandria, VA/Mount Vernon) grabbed 10 rebounds for Penn State Altoona.
The Lions started strong, opening up a 10 point lead midway through the first half. Early three-pointers by Tay Charles (Chambersburg, PA/Chambersburg) and Leazier helped put Penn State Altoona up by five points. Leazier's fastbreak score at 12:09 increased the Lions' lead to 20-12, and Greening's layup at 10:36 extended his team's advantage to 24-14.
But a 14-2 run by the Redhawks put the home team on top for the first time. Torin Smith's three-pointer answered Greening's score. Later, Daron Tabron's layup cut Penn State Altoona's lead to two points before Zaire Redding tied the game 26-26 at 6:30. Lionel Perkins' fastbreak bucket gave La Roche a 28-26 lead 22 seconds later.
Penn State Altoona did not let the game get away from them before halftime, however. Leazier's jumper with 1:29 before the intermission put his team back up 32-31. Two foul shots from Jordan Smith (Pittsburgh, PA/Taylor Allderdice) tied the score at 34 with 27 seconds left.
Redding gave La Roche a 36-34 lead with his layup at the nine second mark.
But Penn State Altoona's offense went cold in the second half, making only five field goals -- part of a 20.0% shooting performance. The Lions also went just 1-for-6 from the free throw line in the period.
Meanwhile, La Roche continued to play its game and grew a lead. Back-to-back layups from David Jackson and Neal McKown put the Redhawks up by nine, 48-39, at 15:29. Smith's score at 8:27 put his team ahead by 13, and Andre Flanigan's trey with 3:23 left gave La Roche its largest lead of the night, 63-47.
Photo: Penn State Altoona freshman forward Evan Greening recorded his ninth double-double of the season on Wednesday, scoring 20 and grabbing 12 boards.