Panthers Knock Off Penn State-Behrend On Senior Day

Photo by Wade Aiken
Photo by Wade Aiken

BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh men's basketball team earned a hard-fought Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference victory over Penn State-Behrend Saturday, 65-62, on Senior Day at the KOA Arena.

"I think our guys played a really good team game," Head Coach Sean Brown Sr. said. "We played some really good defense and made them work for everything they got. Our guys are starting to come together and play some really good team ball. Coach Colestro basically finished the game for us due to an unfortunate accident I had on the sideline. All I know is we were down three and when I recover towards the end we are up one and ready to score. Thanks to all of my assistants and support staff. This was truest a TEAM victory!"

Christian Kelly-Perkins led all scorers with 17 points.  

Desmond BrogsdaleReggie Rogers and Dylan Mitchell each scored 10 points. 

Mitchell delivered many timely buckets in the second half, scoring eight of his 10 points in the half.

With the win, the Panthers improve to 3-13 in AMCC contests while Penn State-Behrend falls to 13-3.

Entering Saturday's game, Penn State-Behrend held the top scoring defense in the country, holding opponents to 57.9 points per game – the lone team to hold opponents to under 60 points per game. 

Prior to the start of the game, seniors Kelly-Perkins, Sahlil HarrisColby Mills and Brady Dailey were honored for Senior Day for their time as Pitt-Bradford student-athletes.

All four seniors started the game.

The opening minutes were low-scoring and neither team could earn a stronghold on the lead.

A Behrend layup at the 12:12 mark put the Lions ahead 12-6, but Mills answered on the other end with a three-pointer to bring the Panthers within three.

The Panthers later stormed out to a 13-0 run capped by a three-pointer from Harris to go up 23-15 with seven minutes left in the first half.

Behrend pulled to within three, 30-27, with just over a minute to play. A pair of Free throws from Dylan Niedermeyer sent the Panthers into halftime with a 32-27 lead.

Back-and-fourth the two teams went, trading buckets early in the second.

With nine minutes left in regulation, the two teams stood locked, 47-47, before Rogers got to the rim and converted the "and-one" to put the Panthers up three points. 

With 2:34 remaining, Behrend held a 60-59 lead, and took the lead on a Mitchell layup.

Pitt-Bradford then forced a missed three-pointer on the next Behrend possession and Mitchell hit a jumper to give Pitt-Bradford a 63-60 lead with just under two minutes to play. 

A Lions' layup with 46 seconds left helped them pull to within one, but Harris collected a miss on the offensive end and knocked down a jumper to put Pitt-Bradford ahead, 65-62, with 13 seconds left.

Penn State-Behrend got a clean look at a three-pointer for the tie but it was off the mark and Mitchell collected the rebound to secure the 65-62 Panther win.

The Panthers have now won the last two matchups with Penn State-Behrend at the KOA Arena. Pitt-Bradford came out on top, 79-74, on Jan. 7, 2017. 

Pitt-Bradford outshot the Lions, 49 percent to 43.1 percent.

The Panthers knocked down six three-pointers on 15 attempts led by Kelly-Perkins with two.

The two teams tied with 32 rebounds apiece. Mitchell led the way with nine while Harris grabbed eight.

Rogers led the Panthers in assists with five.

Up next, the Panthers will play their final home game of the season as Penn State-Altoona comes to the KOA Arena for a 5 p.m. tipoff.