MONT ALTO, Pa. – The Penn State Mont Alto men's basketball team posted a 93-59 season-opening victory over Davis College on Friday evening as part of the John E. Benchoff Tournament.
The Nittany Lions played outstanding defense holding their opponents to 28.8 percent shooting from the floor while forcing 16 turnovers by the Falcons. Davis College opened the scoring with a three-pointer from Jackson Henri, but Mont Alto quickly responded with a trey of their own from Shun Hickman (Shippensburg, Pa. / Shippensburg) as the Lions opened the contest on fire from distance. PSUMA built a 31-5 lead that was capped off by a John Teague (Hagerstown, Md. / North Hagerstown) layup with 11:39 remaining in the first half.
Marcus Roper (Charles Town, W. Va. / Jefferson) fueled the Mont Alto offense in the first half with 11 points, which included a pair of three-pointers. The Nittany Lions shot 45 percent from the floor within the half and carried a 46-35 lead into the break.
Davis College fought back, shrinking the lead down to just seven points after a pair of Corban Usry free throws, which made it 49-42. However, after a Mont Alto timeout the defense tightened up and the team was able to feed off the crowd energy and went on a 17-2 run that put the game out of reach. The Lions built their largest lead of the night, which was 37 points (93-56) after an Austin Towner (Littlestown, Pa. / Littlestown) jumper with under three minutes to play.
Five different players finished in double figures for Mont Alto who were led in scoring by Shun Hickman (Shippensburg, Pa. / Shippensburg) who poured in 17 points. Kevin Holston (Fort Washington, Md. / Friendly) finished with 14 points, six assists and four rebounds, while Marcus Roper (Charles Town, W. Va. / Jefferson) was the closest to finishing with a double-double with 13 points and eight rebounds. Both Quintyn Flemister (Harrisburg, Pa. / Harrisburg) and John Teague (Hagerstown, Md. / North Hagerstown) came off the bench to combine for 25 points. The PSUMA bench outscored the Falcons by a 39-18 margin and the team overall held a 56-39 advantage in rebounds.
Mont Alto shot 48.6 percent from the field and drained 10 three-pointers, while limiting the opposition to just seven makes from downtown.
Mont Alto will look to stay hot when it hosts Williamson College of the Trades in its second game of the Benchoff Tournament on Saturday at 3 p.m.