MONT ALTO, Pa. – The Penn State Mont Alto men’s basketball team cruised to an 81-62 win over PSU Lehigh Valley in its fifth-straight victory of the season on Tuesday. The Nittany Lions improved to 6-2 overall and 4-0 within the PSUAC.
Inside the Box Score
- Mont Alto finished shooting 44.3% from the floor while their opponents finished shooting 41.7%. PSUMA connected on 6-of-19 shots from downtown and made the most of their opportunities at the charity stripe shooting 81.3%.
- Marcus Roper (Charles Town, W. Va. / Jefferson) scored 20 points in the win, knocking down three shots from downtown with six rebounds. Freshman forward JR Powe (Frederick, Md / Thomas Johnson) tallied a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Mont Alto finished with a 46-31 advantage on the boards.
- Mont Alto’s bench stepped up big in this game as they finished with 29 combined points.
- Hesro Johnson III poured in a game-high 31 points as he accounted for half of his team’s points. The freshman guard shot 13-of-21 from the field and added six steals for Lehigh Valley.
How it Happened
- The home team started the game hot and ended up leading from start to finish. Mont Alto ran out to a 9-2 lead after a JR Powe (Frederick, Md / Thomas Johnson) fast break layup off a turnover. The Nittany Lions didn’t really let up their high-pressure defense and built a 25-9 lead with a Nevaes Gordon (Frederick, Md / Thomas Johnson) layup.
- Lehigh Valley chipped away at the margin and were down 29-20 with 4:02 left in the first half forcing a PSUMA timeout. The visitors got as close as 33-25 before Mont Alto finished the half on a 7-2 run to take a 40-27 lead into halftime.
- The second half began with physical play and PSUMA established a 52-37 advantage after a JR Powe (Frederick, Md / Thomas Johnson) tip-in. The visitors closed the game before Mont Alto pulled away after another Powe second chance bucket that made it 63-43.
- The visitors continued to claw back and went on a 13-2 run to close the gap to 70-58. Marcus Roper (Charles Town, W. Va. / Jefferson) severed all momentum with a 3-pointer that put PSUMA up again by 15. That was as close as Lehigh Valley got with Mont Alto holding on for the 81-63 win.
Mont Alto returns to action with another PSUAC home matchup this time against Penn State Beaver on Friday. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m.
FRANK MAIRA Is Assistant Director of Athletics/SID At Penn State Mont Alto