Bradford, Pa. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford men's basketball team lost its season opening game to Houghton College 92-79 on Tuesday night.
Both the Panthers and the Highlanders struggled to get going offensively early in the contest as they combined for 10 points in the first 7 minutes of action. Houghton jumped out to an early 11-2 lead, but the Panthers were slowly able to cut into the lead. Pitt-Bradford was able to whittle the the lead to 4 following a Nick Carmichael lay-up but saw their opponents quickly counter with a made three. The Houghton lead would shuffle between 4 and 9 point sfor the remainder of the half as they were able to respond to each Panther scoring run with one of their own. The Highlanders scored 27 of their 38 points from beyond the arc, while the Panthers only made one three point shot. Justin Kusiappouh and Zach Dalstrand led the Pantehrs in the first half with 8 points a piece.
While the first half of action saw the two teams struggle to start their offenses, neither team had their struggles continue in the second, as they combined to score 100 points. Kusiappouh got things started with a jump shot in the paint, only to see the Highlanders quickly respond with a bucket of their own. After Houghton stretched their lead to 9 after 5 minutes of action in the half, Gaving Boggs hit a three and Zach Dahlstrand made two free throws to get the lead back to 9, only to see the Highlanders respond to restore the lead. Pitt-Bradford continually cut the Houghton lead to 4, but were unable to gain any more momentum, as the Highlanders continuaklly struck back to restore and increase the lead. They would push the lead to double digits with 5 to go, and maintain it throughout the remainder of the contest.
Dahlstrand paced the Panthers as he finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds. He also went a perfect 8 for 8 from teh charity stripe. Justin Kusiappouh also recorded a double-double for the Panthers, scoring 13 and grabbing 12 rebounds. 3 other Panthers hit double digits in the contest as Deondre Terwilliger and Jeffrey Fry finished with 12 and Gavin Boggs scored 11.
Pitt-Bradford (0-1) will hit the road for their next contest, as they head to Keuka on Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. tip.