CRESSON - Mount Aloysius College maintained at least a share of the Allegheny Mountain College Conference lead with a 74-63 victory against Penn State Altoona on Wednesday night.
Demetrius Davis scored a game-high 23 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead the Mounties (10-4, 6-1 conference). Jeff Stem added 13 points, including 11 during a second half in which Mount Aloysius used a 13-2 run to snap a 41-all tie. Dameon Turner contributed 12 points, and Kyle Baughman came off the bench to score 11 points.
"We have something special going," Davis said.
Jordan Wells paced Penn State Altoona (4-7, 3-4) with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Matt Gehret added 18 points. John Brennan chipped in 10 points and 10 boards.
The Mounties might hold a share of the conference lead with Penn State Behrend, but coach Lance Loya views that at meaningless at this season's juncture.
"We're still in possession of first place, and that's a good feeling," Loya said. "But I told the kids after the game that means absolutely nothing. We're not even through the first half of the round-robin. There's still a lot of conference play to go. We want to be in first place at the end of the season.
Davis, who scored nailed four 3-pointers in the game's first five minutes and 16 points in the first 20 minutes, agreed.
"We throw that out the window," he said, referring to the Mounties' current status. "First place doesn't mean anything to us. We're here for the long run."
Loya knew how important Davis was to his team in the early going.
"They were denying Stem. He's one of the leading scorers in the conference. And we're starting to see that. He was being denied the whole game," Loya said. "And that's hard to do against us because that leaves Davis open. And Davis was our offense in the first half."
Penn?State Altoona coach Billy Clapper said it was simple in figuring out what Davis was doing for the Mounties.
"He's one of the best shooters in the league for a reason," Clapper said. "And if he gets hot, he knocks them down."
Penn State Altoona limited the Mounties to 35 percent shooting in the first half and only two offensive rebounds.
Loya admitted his team came out the chute a little flat.
"We had string of tough, really close games in a row. And it showed a little bit in the first half," he said. "And we weren't shooting the ball particularly well in the first half, either."
"In the second half, we came out, settled down. We were much more patient on offense. We were eliminating the one-and-dones. And we were making some big stops."
Just the same, Clapper believes his team had made significant strides since their last meeting, in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at Juniata College.
"We did not play well at all," he said, recalling the Lions' 88-64 loss. "We were down by 22 into the first half. We were leading much of the first half and trailing by one going into halftime.
"This team that I'm coaching now is a whole lot better now than they were on Nov. 16. We've just got to keep plugging and, hopefully, good things happen."
PENN?STATE?ALTOONA (63): Harvin 0-9 1-2 1,?Wells 8-16 3-4 20, Moyer 3-6 0-0 9, Gehret 6-16 5-6 18, Brennan 3-5 4-6 10,?Stiles 1-1 0-0 3, Griffith 0-2 0-0 0, Wigfield 1-1 0-0 2, Ross 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-56 13-18 63.
MOUNT ALOYSIUS (74): Stem 4-18 3-3 13, Wagner 0-2 0-0 0, Turner 5-8 2-6 12, Davis 8-16 2-2 23, LeGrande 1-3 0-0 2, Doyle 1-2 4-6 6, Patrick 1-2 0-0 3, Baughman 3-5 5-5 11, Wyatt 0-1 0-0 0, Barksdale 1-4 0-0 2, Thomas 1-5 0-0 2. Totals: 25-66 16-22 74.
Halftime: Mount Aloysius, 30-29. 3-point field goals: PSU 6-18?(Harvin 0-3, Wells 1-4, Moyer 3-6, Gehret 1-4, Stiles 1-1). MA 8-21 (Stem 2-7, Wagner 0-1, Davis 5-9, Doyle 0-1, Patrick 1-2, Thomas 0-1). Rebounds: PSU 37 (Brennan,?Wells 10 each). MA 31 (3 tied with 5). Assists: PSU 11 (Gehret 4). MA 14 (Wagner 6). Technical fouls:?None. Attendance: 600.