Penn State DuBois hosted PSU Fayette in a men's basketball conference matchup tonight on the DuBois campus. DuBois, still looking for its first PSUAC win of the season looked impressive with their aggressive defense to start the game.
Freshman Mekhi Willis (Landstuhl, Germany) got the start tonight along with Cole Morris (Rimersburg, PA), Dylan Huey (Punxsutawney, PA), Zack Dahlstrand (Erie, PA), and Tyler Davis (Franklin, PA) for Coach Howard's team. DuBois came out with an intensity that this home crowd hasn't seen all year, and they got the crowd into it early.
DuBois can always rely on certain players to bring all they have every night, so it's always a plus when you get someone else to step up and have a big game. Mekhi Willis always plays hard, but tonight he gave DuBois some extra energy in front of this home crowd.
Fayette started the game in a full court press to try to disrupt the home squad, but DuBois made quick work of getting buckets early on against it. Big man Huey was given control early as his guards found him at the high post. Huey would make some quick moves against the slower bigs of Fayette, and get a quick 6 points for his team. Willis and Morris took over on the defensive end for DuBois as they made Fayette's point guard leader, Marvin Sidon work for everything he got. Willis forced Sidon to 5 turnovers in the first half alone. Willis would also end the half with 4 steals.
The exciting first half would go back and forth with 5 ties and 9 lead changes in the first half before Fayette would take the lead into the locker room, 35-33.
The second half saw DuBois keeping the same spark they started with, but foul trouble would hinder their progress as they would have to make some substitutions early on. Fayette would start to pull away, but DuBois would will their way back into it, and give themselves a chance at the end. After a technical foul from Fayette brought Morris to the line to sink both free throws for DuBois, and Huey hitting a jumper on the following possession, Coach Howards team was down only 1 with under two minutes to play.
Fayette's Iman Young would hit a turnaround jumper, but DuBois would bring it back the other way for a quick lay up to keep the deficit at 1. Young would hit another field goal, and Coach Howard would call his final timeout with 18 seconds remaining in the game with his team down by 3.
The call was to tie the game with a 3, and Davis saw the ball in his hands off a high screen hand off. Davis let it fly from way downtown, but the shot would come up short as Fayette would take the win from the energetic play of DuBois.
DuBois will look again for their first conference win of the season on Friday when they host Penn State Wilkes Barre.