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Men's Basketball Second-Half Rally Falls Short Against Penn State Behrend
02/07/2004

FROSTBURG, MD — Senior Casey Ponsoll scored a game-high 14 points and Penn State Behrend withstood a furious comeback attempt by Frostburg State to pull out a 62-54 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference win Saturday at Bobcat Arena.

The Lions, ranked 22nd in the country in the latest D3hoops.com poll, improved to 19-1 overall and 9-0 in the AMCC with their 12th straight win. PSB also clinched the AMCC regular-season title and will host the conference semifinals and final February 27-28.

Frostburg State dropped to 11-10 overall and 4-4 in the league.

Penn State Behrend held a seemingly comfortable 49-27 lead with 9:29 left in the game, but Frostburg State outscored the Lions 26-7 over the next 8:20 to close to within 56-53.

The Bobcats capped the stretch with 12 straight points to bring the crowd alive.

With FSU trailing 56-41, senior DeNelle Hale (Baltimore, Md./Dunbar) hit two free throws, junior Chris Vaughn (Manchester, Md./North Carroll) and senior Ryan Grabill (Boonsboro, Md./Williamsport) sank back-to-back three-pointers and Grabill tacked on two more free throws.

Hale then fought through heavy traffic to tip-in a miss to bring the Bobcats to within three with 1:09 left.

Penn State Behrend, which missed five free throws and two field goals in FSU's run, regained its touch from the stripe in the final minute, hitting 6-of-8 from the line to seal the victory. The Bobcats missed their last four shots.

The game was a defensive struggle for much of the first half, as Penn State Behrend held a 13-12 edge at the midway point.

The Lions moved out to a 24-17 advantage on a three-pointer by Ponsoll, but FSU senior Myro Small (Berlin, Md./Stephen Decatur) hit consecutive shots to help the Bobcats cut their deficit to 24-21.

Ponsoll and sophomore Justin Jennings each hit a three-pointer near the end of the half to give the Lions a 30-21 lead at the break.

Penn State Behrend was 7-of-12 from behind the arc in the first half and finished 10-of-20 for the game.

The Lions outscored the Bobcats 12-1 over the first five minutes of the second half to take a 42-22 cushion, and Jared Clough's layup made it a 49-27 contest.

Curren scored 12 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for Penn State Behrend, while junior Tom Lulich added 10 points.

Hale led FSU with a career-high 13 points, with Small and Vaughn adding 11 each.

The Bobcats return to action Wednesday when they visit Pitt-Greensburg in a key AMCC contest at 8:00 pm.

FSU and UPG are among five teams still fighting for an AMCC first-round home playoff game.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-4371
Fax: 301-687-4780
E-mail: sportsinfo@frostburg.edu