MONT ALTO, Pa. – The Penn State Mont Alto men's basketball team ran away late in the nightcap of Saturday's basketball doubleheader against Penn State Scranton. Mont Alto finished the second half on a 29-12 run to close out the 78-60 win.
Both teams sputtered out of the gates with Mont Alto missing multiple opportunities in the paint to begin to the game. Penn State Scranton (4-16, 1-12 PSUAC) lead 8-4 early on forcing a PSUMA timeout with 15:13 remaining in the first half. Jordan Gillis (Harrisburg Pa. / Central Dauphin East) sparked the Mont Alto offense with a transition layup that began a 9-2 run, which forced two consecutive PSU Scranton timeouts.
Mont Alto continued to pull away after the timeouts building a 32-21 lead with 5:30 remaining. Marcus Roper (Charles Town, W. Va. / Jefferson) hit a three-pointer with five seconds remaining in the half to put Mont Alto up 42-30 at the half. Mont Alto forced 10 first half turnovers with several of them ending up in transition buckets.
Scranton chipped away at Mont Alto's lead cutting the deficit to 49-48 with 12:15 left. Jalen Smith (Charles Town, W. Va. / Jefferson) entered the game in the second half and hit a key triple that tipped the momentum back with Mont Alto.
Mont Alto's defense held PSU Scranton to just 10 points in the final 10 minutes of the game. PSUMA shot 43.3 percent from the field and held a 47-42 advantage on the boards.
Jihad Warner (Philadelphia, Pa. / Swenson Arts and Technology) finished with a team-high 14 points. Smith and Gillis each scored 13 points off the bench and forward Ryan Hege (Chambersburg, Pa. / James Buchanan) had a team-high 11 rebounds.
Mont Alto return to action on Tuesday in a PSUAC road showdown with Penn State Lehigh Valley. Game time is slated for 8 p.m.