The Penn State DuBois Men's Basketball team hosted Penn State New Kensington tonight in a PSUAC matchup that was going to give one of the teams their first win in conference play this season. Coach Howard new it would be a tough matchup as both teams were thirsty for this one, and a tough one it turned out to be.
DuBois started well as Dylan Huey (Punxsutawney, PA) scored early for the first bucket of the night. The energy brought with that from the DuBois bench was an exciting sound that went through the entire arena. The ugly head of the turnover monster started lurking though as the stat that has plagued this team all season started taking over. Four straight turnovers by DuBois led to a quick 7-1 run for the visiting New Kensington team.
Zack Dahlstrand (Erie, PA) brought DuBois points back up with 2 straight field goals, and a made free throw. Huey and Dahlstrand kept going back and forth with their scoring efforts for DuBois, and kept DuBois right there in the game with New Kensington.
New Kensington's scoring leader Jakob Richardson would find his stroke early in the game too though, and would start his team off with some offensive rebounds leading to second chance points. New Kensington would take full advantage of the turnovers by DuBois, scoring on many of them.
DuBois though, stricken with injuries to all three of the point guards had to find a way past it. Both Cole Morris (Rimersburg, PA) and Malik Gordon (Allentown, PA) were playing with injured ankles, and Coach Howards other point guard Mekhi Willis (Landsthul, Germany) was not even able to dress for the game tonight due to a knee injury.
As they say, the show must go on however, and it did just that. The big men from DuBois started taking control as Huey bodied up his defenders one at a time, knowing they were too small to guard him. Unfortunately, foul trouble kept Huey sidelined for a lot of the first half, but was able to score 9 in those 10 minutes of play.
With the foul trouble of DuBois led to many free throw opportunities for New Kensington. New Kensington would go 16 for 21 from the charity stripe in the first half and capitalize on DuBois's 16 turnovers to take a 48-36 lead into the locker room.
A strong beginning to the second half for the DuBois brought quite the buzz to the floor. Dahlstrand, and freshman big man Osagie Evbuomwan (Severn, MD) hit the floor running and went on a 7-0 run between the two of them. DuBois now within just 5 points of New Kensington, but it wouldn't last long. Another run for New Kensington, led by Jakob Richardson would put New Kensington back up by 12, five minutes into the second half.
Dahlstrand and Huey would attack again, but just when DuBois was in reach, New Kensington would pull ahead once again. Finally, after a flurry, DuBois's Brandon Bernhardt (Milton, NJ) hit a quick runner to pull DuBois to back within three, 65-62. Lamar Lewis and Nate Andrews would answer quickly again for New Kensington, and Coach Howard would put a full court press on to stim the tide.
The turnovers and foul trouble from the first half would end up being enough to make the difference in tonight's matchup though. New Kensington would continue to push back, and eventually take the win away from DuBois, 98-89.
Dahlstrand led all scorers with 25 points, adding 5 rebounds, and shooting 7-7 from the free throw line. Huey put up 24 points in only 23 minutes of play due to his foul trouble. New Kensington had six of their players in double figures, but Richardson would lead the way for them with 23 points and 14 rebounds.
New Kensington went to the line 42 times tonight, making 28 of them, while DuBois went a mere 13 for 17 from the charity stripe.
DuBois will be back in action at home on Saturday, December 15th at 3:00 pm as they host Penn State Greater Allegheny in another PSUAC matchup.