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Lions Eliminated from ECAC Tourney With 82-57 Loss at Bethany

Lions Eliminated from ECAC Tourney With 82-57 Loss at Bethany


3/1/2017 — BETHANY, W.Va. - The Penn State Altoona men's basketball team's season came to an end on Wednesday night, when the Lions lost 82-57 to Bethany College in the first round of the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Championship Tournament at Hummel Fieldhouse.

Bethany (16-12) advances to face Moravian College, the top seed in the ECAC Tournament, this Friday, March 3, while Penn State Altoona (14-14) is eliminated from the bracket.

The Lions' Javon Wilson (Washington, D.C./T.C. Williams) led all scorers with 26 points. With that point total, he moved into a tie for first place on the men's basketball program's single season scoring list with 493 points scored this season. Wilson shares first place with former Lion Kirk Peters, who also scored 493 points during the 2009-2010 season.

Ishimeal Nance (Muscle Shoals, AL/Muscle Shoals/Snead State C.C.) added 10 points and tied for the team-high in rebounds with eight, and he also finished with three steals and two blocks. Jordan Smith (Pittsburgh, PA/Taylor Allderdice) also grabbed eight boards while scoring six points.

Bethany was led in scoring by Andrew Williams, who put up 20 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists. Liam Davis added 11 points, and Antonio Rudolph had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.

Despite shooting 36.7% in the first half, Penn State Altoona was able to hang around and found itself down by only eight points by the intermission.

Bethany grabbed a 13-4 lead three minutes into the game following Javonte' Trujillo's three-pointer and Calique Jones' jumper, but Penn State Altoona closed the gap over the next several minutes. Smith's layup at 14:24 cut Bethany's lead to five, and Nance's fastbreak bucket at 12:05 kept the difference at five. Wilson hit a jump shot 30 seconds later to make it 17-14.

After the Bison increased their lead to 22-14 at 10:47 after a Williams jumper and Jerron Athey three-pointer, the Lions used a trey from Andrew Gal (Malvern, PA/Great Valley) and jumper from Marshall Higley (Sayre, PA/Sayre) to make it a five-point game again. Quinn Luhr (Johnsonburg, PA/Johnsonburg) connected from three-point range at 8:48 to cut Bethany's lead to two points, 24-22.

Two three-pointers by Wilson helped to keep Penn State Altoona within five points, 34-29, by 3:55. But another three from Trujillo, as well as Rudolph's fastbreak dunk, put Bethany's halftime lead at 39-31.

But the Lions' offensive struggles caught up with them in the second half, as the team shot 22.5% in the final period of the game while Bethany continued to put consistent points on the board.

Wilson opened the second half with a three-pointer at 19:49 that made it 39-34, but Bethany embarked on an 11-3 run over the next four minutes. Free throws from Williams and Jones helped the home team to its first double digit lead of the night, 45-35, and Williams' trey at 15:50 made it 48-37. Two foul shots by Trujillo at 15:17 gave the Bison a 50-37 advantage.

Two free throws from Wilson, along with Tay Charles' (Chambersburg, PA/Chambersburg) jumper, helped Penn State Altoona make it a 50-41 game by 13:12.

But Bethany expanded its lead from there on out and never looked back. Williams and Davis connected on jump shots to put their squad ahead by 18, 61-43, by 9:45, and Chaice Truex added a three-pointer 40 seconds later to make it 64-43.

Penn State Altoona fought to close the gap over the remainder of the second half. Wilson connected from three-point range twice, once at 7:33 and again at 6:30 to make it a 15-point game, 66-51. Another Wilson basket and a transition score from Nance made it 69-57 with 3:16 to play.

But Bethany widened its lead in the closing minutes, getting a fastbreak layup by Jones at 1:31 and three-pointers from Aiden Albert and Lance DeZee within the final minute to take its largest lead of the night, 82-57.

Notes: In addition to Wilson tying the Lions' single season scoring record, he finishes his collegiate career tied for third on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,170 points. He shares third place with former Lion Colin Geiger (2005-2009)...Smith finishes in seventh place on the Lions' all-time points list with 849 career points scored.

Photo: Penn State Altoona senior guard/forward Javon Wilson led all scorers with 26 points in Wednesday night's ECAC Division III Tournament game at Bethany College.

TAGS: men's basketball