PSU Altoona out of AMCC playoffs

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Penn State Altoona men’s basketball team’s Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Tournament run came to an end on Saturday, losing to Medaille College, 91-77, in the semifinals at the Sullivan Center.

Penn State was the No. 4 seed while Medaille is the top seed.

“Even though we were unable to get a win today, I’m extremely proud of this group for what we’ve accomplished this year,” Penn State Altoona coach David McGreal. “If you would have told us at the beginning of the year that we’d win 14 games and make it to the semifinals of our conference tournament, we would have taken it. Once you get here, though, you want to come out with a championship, but Medaille had other plans.”

Penn State Altoona’s (14-13) Javon Wilson led all scorers with 31 points to go along with three rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. Ishimeal Nance added 22 points and tied for the team-high with six rebounds.

Tay Charles contributed nine points and four rebounds while leading the team with four assists and three steals.

Medaille (20-6) got 26 points and 12 rebounds from Mike Hollenbeck. Justice Fagan scored 22 points, Johnathan Belton added 15, and Meghale Ford finished with 10.

Medaille opened the game on a 10-0 run, including 3-pointers from Fagan and Ford, and a fastbreak dunk from Hollenbeck. Jumpers from Belton and Ford helped increase the Mavericks’ lead to 15 points, 26-11, by the 10:40 mark. Brandon Roach’s 3-pointer at 3:01 upped the home team’s advantage to 18 points, 40-22, and free throws from Belton and Hollenbeck two minutes later made it a 20-point game, 46-26.

The Mavericks continued to click on all cylinders in the second half. Three straight scores from Hollenbeck made it 60-38 at the 15:14 mark, and two treys by Fagan put Medaille’s lead at 68-42.

“Medaille showed why they were the number one seed. They jumped out to a big lead and never looked back,” McGreal said. “If you take away their 10-0 run to start the game, it’s a four-point game at the end. Unfortunately we waited until we were down by 20-plus points before we really started playing our game.”

Penn State Altoona made a push to get back in the game late in the second half. Three-pointers from Nance and Wilson helped whittle the lead to 16 points, 73-57, by 6:52. Three consecutive scores by Nance preceded Charles’ 3-pointer at 3:23 which made it a 14-point game, 82-68. Nance hit a three at 2:36, then he made two free throws at 1:16 to make it a 13-point game, 86-73.

But that was as close as the Lions would get.

“I’m proud of how the team continued to fight today to try and get ourselves out of a big hole. I feel bad for the seniors, but they should be proud of what they accomplished this year by leaving Penn State Altoona in a better place than when they got here,” said McGreal. “Now, we turn our attention to the ECAC selection, and we hope to get another opportunity to keep playing. Whether we do or not, we’re still happy about our season. This year was the renaissance of Penn State Altoona men’s basketball.”

The Lions are up for a potential berth into the Eastern College Athletic Conference’s Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament. The ECAC will announce its participants after the NCAA Tournament Division III field is announced.

PENN STATE ALTOONA (14-13, 12-7 AMCC): Wilson 10-21 6-6 31, Nance 7-12 5-7 22, Charles 2-5 4-4 9, Luhr 1-6 3-4 5, Smith 2-4 0-0 4, Lucas 1-4 0-0 2, Gardner-Nicholson 1-2 0-0 2, West 1-7 0-0 2, Gal 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 25-61 18-21 77.

MEDAILLE (20-6, 17-2 AMCC): Hollenbeck 11-19 4-5 26, Fagan 6-15 6-6 22, Belton 4-9 6-8 15, Ford 2-7 5-6 10, Wilson 3-4 2-2 8, Smith 2-8 0-0 4, Roach 1-3 0-0 3, Sadowy 0-0 2-2 2, Hawkins 0-2 1-2 1, Erickson 0-4 0-0 0. Totals — 29-71 26-31 91.

Halftime–Medaille, 46-28. 3-point goals–Penn St. Altoona 9-29 (Wilson 5-13, Nance 3-4, Charles 1-2, West 0-6, Luhr 0-4); Medaille 7-23 (Fagan 4-9, Ford 1-5, Roach 1-3, Belton 1-3, Hawkins 0-1, Erickson 0-2). Fouled out–Penn St. Altoona-Smith, Medaille-None. Rebounds–Penn St. Altoona 32 (Lucas 6, Nance 6), Medaille 50 (Hollenbeck 12). Assists–Penn St. Altoona 13 (Charles 4), Medaille 17 (Fagan 6). Total fouls–Penn St. Altoona 23, Medaille 21. Technical fouls–Penn St. Altoona-Smith, Medaille-Hollenbeck. A–298.