HAMBURG, N.Y. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford men's basketball team went toe-to-toe with one of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference's top team at Hilbert and clawed back in the second half, but ultimately fell just short, 78-73, Wednesday.
"We came out really flat and on our heels," Head Coach Sean Brown Sr. said. "But in the second half, we really dug in and gave a tremendous defensive effort. I'm really proud of our guys and how well they played in the second half tonight. Our guys showed a lot of guts coming back from 18 down to cut it to three. I feel like we are really starting to understand the system, and more than anything, believing in what we are selling as a first-year coaching staff."
Dylan Mitchell put together his best scoring performance of the season with 21 points to lead all scorers.
Mitchell was on fire in the first half, scoring 19 points on 6-8 shooting and 1-1 from long range to lead the Panthers.
The two teams went into the break with the Hawks holding a 43-32 lead.
The Panthers turned it on in the second half, though, as Kelly-Perkins and Niedermeyer scored 15 apiece in the half.
Hilbert eventually extended its lead to 52-34 at the 15:56 mark, but Jeffrey Fry brought the Panthers back a bit with a three-ball and a free throw.
Later on, Niedermeyer really caught fire and scored nine-straight points for the Panthers and brought the deficit to seven, 57-50, with just over nine minutes to play in regulation.
Kelly-Perkins then took on the scoring as he scored 10-straight points for the Panthers, knocking down three-pointers on back-to-back possessions and connecting on two more buckets to bring Pitt-Bradford within one, 67-66, with 2:37 left to play.
But Hilbert made its stops and connected on its free throws the rest of the way and held off the Panthers.
The Panther defense held Hilbert to 36.7 percent shooting in the second half.
Niedermeyer also led the Panthers in rebounding with five.
Reggie Rogers tossed a game-high six assists.
The Panthers had their best game of the season at the free-throw line, going 15-16 for 93.8 percent. Mitchell made the most with eight.
Pitt-Bradford connected on six three-pointers led by two from Fry.
Up next, the Panthers will travel to La Roche Saturday for an AMCC matchup.