MONACA, Pa. – Spread the word. The Penn State Fayette Roaring Lions are for real. Riding the surge of the return of senior David Winns (Washington, D.C.), Mark John's squad handed second-rankedPenn State Beaver its first conference loss with a convincing 85-68 win on Saturday.
Winns returned with 20 points and five rebounds in his first action of 2013.
At the 16:34 mark of the first period, Brandon Cunningham (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) buried a three from the left side to give the Roaring Lions the lead for good at 7-5.
Fayette lead 40-31 at the break and withstood an early Beaver charge. A pair of Robert Agurs free throws with 13 minutes to play pulled Beaver to within two at 52-50.
That would be as close as the Lions would get. Winns buried a short jumper as did James Pratt (Uniontown, Pa.). Cunningham and Darius Mack (Washington, D.C.) each buried two more jumpers and the lead was 75-62 with just over four minutes to play.
Mack then calmly sank three free throws with 1:40 to play to give Fayette an 85-66 lead. The victory squared the Roaring Lions' overall record at 11-11 and improved their PSUAC mark to 10-4.
The win avenged a heart-breaking overtime loss to Beaver on Dec. 13.
Cunningham scored 23 to go along with seven rebounds and two steals. Mack came off the bench with 17, while Pratt had 14, eight rebounds and four assists.
Fayette hosts Penn College at 2 p.m. on Feb. 3.