MONT ALTO, Pa. – The Penn State Mont Alto men's basketball team erased an early 8-7 deficit and never trailed again enroute to an 82-66 victory over Davis College in its first game of the John E. Benchoff Tournament. The win also marked the 100th career victory for head coach Jack Schenzel who is in the midst of his seventh season at the helm of the program.
Inside the Box Score
- Jalen Smith (Ranson, W. Va. / Jefferson) led all scorers with a team-high 24 points. Smith was also the lone player of the game to record a double-double after grabbing 10 rebounds for the Nittany Lions.
- Marcus Roper (Charles Town, W. Va. / Jefferson) shook off a cold start from the field to finish 7-of-14 for 18 points. He added five boards, two assists and a pair of steals.
- Leading the way for Davis College was Anthony Gathings with 19 points and seven rebounds.
- The Mont Alto defense suffocated the Falcons attack holding the visitors to 37.5% (24-for-64) from the field and 20.7% (6-for-29) from three-point range. The Nittany Lions also forced 19 turnovers and scored 23 points off them.
How it Happened
- With both teams pressing from the offset, the Nittany Lions defense finally began to wear on Davis towards the tail end of the first half and it carried a 41-29 lead into the break.
- Mont Alto's defense held Davis to 28.6% shooting from the field in the first half and out-rebounded the visitors 25-22.
- The Falcons clawed their way back into the game by getting to the free throw line in the second half. Davis College made it a nine-point game after a Corban Ursey layup with 4:51 left, which forced a Schenzel timeout.
- The Lions once again pulled away down the stretch due in large part to Roper who made a clutch three-pointer and transition layup.
- Jordan Gillis (Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin East), Quintyn Flemister (Harrisburg, Pa. / Harrisburg) and Javon Mitchell (Lancaster, Pa. / Hempfield) each made their colligate debuts for a combined 20 minutes off the bench.
Penn State Mont Alto improves to 1-0 on the 2017-18 season and return to action tomorrow against Williamson College of the Trades as part of the Benchoff Tournament at 4 p.m.