Kelly-Perkins Reaches Scoring Milestone In Panthers' Comeback Win

Photo by Erika Helo
Photo by Erika Helo

BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford men's basketball team pulled out a tough comeback win over D'Youville Wednesday at the KOA Arena, 81-79. 

"It was a tale of two halves tonight," Head Coach Sean Brown Sr. said. "Our defense was horrible in the first half, but in the second half we cleaned some things up and held them to 31 in the second. We had huge contributions from everyone. Christian Kelly-Perkins, who scored his 1,000th point tonight, put us on his back and carried us in the second half. Also a strong performance from Dylan Niedermeyer, who had a great start to the game getting us 15 points in the first half. Also huge compliments to Desmond Brogsdale and Reggie Rogers who provided defensive toughness tonight. Sahlil Harris put us over the hump with his energy and effort tonight. Coach Colestro had a few great defensive changes at the right time and it kind of caught them off guard. Overall, a great comeback and a great win for this team. We look to make it two in a row on Saturday."
With the game tied at 79-79, D'Youville hit a shot as the shot clock expired with two seconds left on the game clock, appearing to take the lead late.

But the officials gathered and determined the shot was late and thus would be ruled a shot clock violation, keeping the game at 79-79.

Protesting the overruling, D'Youville's bench received a technical foul, giving Pitt-Bradford a chance to take the lead with a pair of free throws.
Christian Kelly-Perkins sank both and the Panthers eventually went on to earn their second AMCC win.

Kelly-Perkins, needing 22 points to reach the 1,000-point plateau for his collegiate career, sank a three-ball 10 minutes into the second half to reach the milestone.

He wasn't done there. 

The senior went on to score nine more and eventually drop a game-best 31 points, tying his career-high set earlier this season on Jan. 3 at Penn State-Altoona. 

D'Youville controlled the lead for much of the first half and eventually took a 48-38 lead into halftime.

With offensive sparks from Sahlil Harris and Kelly-Perkins, the Panthers climbed back in the second half.

A 9-2 Pitt-Bradford run capped by Kelly-Perkins' milestone three-pointer brought the Panthers to within two points, 61-59, halfway through the second half.

Later down 65-60, four-straight points from Dylan Mitchell cut the lead to two, and Kelly-Perkins took a pass from Desmond Brogsdale off a steal and went in transition.

He laid it up and took hard contact, converting the hoop-and-the-harm to give the Panthers a 66-65 lead while setting off the KOA Arena crowd.

The two teams traded the lead, back-and-forth, into the closing minutes of the game.

With D'Youville up 76-77 with 44 seconds left in regulation, the Spartans missed a pair at the free-throw line to give the Panthers a chance to tie. 

Kelly-Perkins drove to the hoop and once again gave the Panthers a timely bucket, tying the game at 79-79 with 36 seconds left.

Driving down to take the lead, D'Youville laid one up but Harris tracked him and came up from behind, swatting the shot attempt away and preserving the tie.

After the shot clock violation and the made technical free-throws by Kelly-Perkins, the Panthers held on for the 81-79 victory.

In addition to Kelly-Perkins' scoring output, Harris dropped 17 points himself while Dylan Niedermeyer scored 15 and Mitchell dropped 12.

For Niedermeyer, all 15 of his points came in the first half, while 12 of Harris' 17 points came in the second and 10 of Mitchell's 12 points also came in the second half.

Pitt-Bradford took care of the ball in the victory, surrendering just nine turnovers while forcing 19 Spartan turnovers.

The Panthers grabbed nine steals led by four from Harris.

The game was a shootout, with both teams shooting at a high percentage. D'Youville shot 50.8 percent from the floor (30-59) while the Panthers shot 44.3 percent (31-70).

Reggie Rogers grabbed the most rebounds for the Panthers with seven. Harris and Niedermeyer were close behind with six boards apiece.

Up next, the Panthers will look to win their second-straight as they head to Mount Aloysius Saturday for a 1 p.m. tipoff.