STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – The Franciscan Barons took down the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford men's basketball team, 65-56, Saturday in an Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference matchup.
"Today, we played a little better defense but had a really hard time taking care of the ball," Head Coach Sean Brown Sr. said. "We also missed a ton of easy shots inside, combined with missing 18 free throws. It's a tough loss for us, but we'll look to get back on track next game."
Colby Mills went off for 24 points and six three-pointers to lead all scorers.
Christian Kelly-Perkins put together his best scoring game of the season so far with 12 points and a 9-12 performance from the free-throw line to also score in double-figures.
The two teams held tough in the early minutes of the contest and Franciscan went on to build a six-point lead, 8-2, with a three-pointer at the 17:50 mark.
Pitt-Bradford continued to connect on free throws and Franciscan capitalized by grabbing more points on layups and three-pointers on the offensive side of the ball and eventually brought the Barons' lead to double-digits, 20-10, with nine minutes remaining in the first half.
But the Panthers responded with a layup from Niedermeyer and back-to-back three-pointers from Mills and Harris for a quick 8-0 run to bring the score within two, 20-18, at the 6:45 mark.
Franciscan held strong and did not surrender the lead, though, regaining a multi-possession advantage with six-straight points, 29-21, at the 4:27 mark.
The two teams went on to trade buckets the rest of the half and Franciscan finished the half with an eight-point advantage, 33-25.
Points came at a premium early in the second half but Franciscan broke the silence at the 18:42 mark with a jump shot to go up double-digits, 35-25.
Later down 14 points, Pitt-Bradford went on a 6-0 run capped by a layup from Harris to bring the Franciscan lead back down to eight, 39-31, five minutes into the half.
Franciscan later took a 17-point advantage with six minutes remaining in regulation, but Mills caught fire to bring the Panthers back into it.
Mills knocked down four three-pointers as part of a 15-6 run that put the Panthers within six points, 57-51, with 3:30 left in regulation.
Franciscan would keep the Panthers right there, though, as Reginald Rogers laid one in with 22 seconds left to bring the Panthers within five but that would be as close as they'd get and the Barons would hold on to win, 64-57.
Pitt-Bradford collected eight total steals led by three from Harris.
Rogers and Malique McCoy dished a pair of assists each to lead the Panthers in that category.
The Panthers displayed strong perimeter defense, holding Franciscan to 9.1 percent (1-11) from long range.
The Panthers will be in action next as Mount Aloysius comes to the KOA Arena Saturday, Dec. 16.