York, Pa. - Through a 60-58 nail-biting victory, the #2 Penn State Greater Allegheny men's basketball team overcame the #1 seeded Penn State York, Sunday evening, to go on to be crowned the 2016-17 Penn State University Athletic Conference Champions!
The last time the Greater Allegheny Lions earned the PSUAC Championship was through the 2005-06 season.
Sophomore forward George Prota (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) power-housed his way through the first six points of the game before both junior guard Jeremy McMunn (Pittsburgh, Pa./Woodland Hills) and sophomore guard Jordon Payne (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) rained down with a trio of treys, Greater Allegheny on top fast 15-8.
Payne marked a pair of jumpers and a three-pointer as junior forward Curtis Newby (Sharon, Pa./Sharon) added a jumper himself. Prota, Payne and Newby all downed jumpers before Payne marked a three-pointer to close the first half of action, Greater Allegheny in front 33-30.
Newby accounted for eight points within the first ten minutes of the second half as Prota and senior forward Moe Alli (Edison, N.J./Cardinal McCarrick) added jumpers, 45-45 all. Newby added a jumper before Payne snapped with two three-pointers and a jumper, 55-48. York worked their way back before both Prota and Payne duked out the remainder of regulation, Greater Allegheny coming out on top 60-58.
Payne completed 52.6% (10-of-19) of his shots from the floor with six three-pointers and 60% (3-of-5) from the foul line. The sophomore put up 29 of the 60 Lion points in the contest, along with seven rebounds, two assists and a steal. Newby finished his 14th double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 boards. Prota out-worked every single competitor on the floor, as the sophomore powered with 16 rebounds, 12 points, four blocks, three steals and two assists.
As a team, Greater Allegheny (22-5, 14-2 PSUAC) shot 31.6% (24-of-76) from the floor with 62.5% (5-of-8) of their foul shots going in. The Lions out-rebounded York 51-42 as the men managed 17 points off turnovers.
With his hard-work and effort in the championship game, Payne earned the Most Valuable Player accolade of the PSUAC Championship.
The men are now onto the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championship held at Penn State Fayette, February 28th-March 4th. They will face Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) at 3:15pm on Thursday, March 2nd in their first matchup.
Congratulations for your hard-work and perseverance through the season and best of luck in the USCAA Championship!!
Written by: Amanda Volker