Four players scored in double-figures as the Pitt-Bradford men's basketball team turned back a gusty effort by D'Youville Monday night, 91-80. It was the Panthers' third straight win and capped a perfect homestand.
Entering last Wednesday's home conference game against Penn State Altoona, the Panthers were facing the real possibility of falling into a 1-4 hole to start conference play. Three wins in six days later, the Blue and Gold are back in the thick of the conference race.
It was a physical matchup that featured 51 total fouls by both teams. Pitt-Bradford's ability to hit free throws played a significant role in holding off the Spartans in the second half. The Panthers finished the night 30-37 from the line.
Fresh off the win over Penn State Behrend on Saturday, head coach Britt Moore had a quick hook, yanking all five starters before the first 60 seconds lapsed to guard against a hangover. The bench responded, forcing a steal, and Zacc Kinsey's three seemed to wake up the entire team.
Trailing by one, Christian Kelly-Perkins' two free throws kickstarted a 15-4 scoring burst that gave the Panthers the lead for good. D'Youville trimmed the deficit to two shortly before half, but Pitt-Bradford responded, rattling off nine straight points to push its advantage back to double-digits. The Panthers led 43-34 at the break.
Pitt-Bradford added to the lead in the second half, hitting six threes and going 16-22 from the free throw line. Consecutive triples in transition by Sahlil Harris and Kinsey brought the KOA Arena crowd to its feet and gave the Panthers a 75-60 margin with 7:19 remaining.
Dylan Niedermeyer's layup two minutes later grew the advantage to 17, and the Panthers iced the game at the line.
Pitt-Bradford shot 40 percent from the floor and hit 11 total threes. It was the third straight game the Blue and Gold connected for double-digit three-pointers. The Panthers forced 27 turnovers and outrebounded the Spartans by two.
D'Youville hit 46 percent of its attempts but struggled to keep pace with the Panthers by going just 6-23 from long-range.
Evan Greening recorded a double-double of 20 points and 19 rebounds, his 12th of the season. Welch finished with 18 points, including hitting five threes, and Kinsey had a season-high 13 points. He was a perfect 3-3 from behind the arc and led the Panthers with five assists. Kelly-Perkins added 12 points, and eight different players recorded a steal.
Pitt-Bradford evens its record at 6-6 on the season and improves to 4-3 in the conference. The Panthers travel to Medaille Wednesday.