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Men's Basketball to Face Penn State Behrend in AMCC Semifinals Friday
02/22/2002

FROSTBURG, MD — History has a habit of repeating itself, and the Frostburg State men's basketball team are looking to do just that this weekend when it heads to Bradford, Pa., for the Final Four of the 2002 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Tournament.

The Bobcats, who are the tourney's No. 3 seed for the second straight year, will face No. 2 Penn State Behrend in Friday's first semifinal game at 6:00 p.m. — for the second straight year.

If FSU gets past the Lions as they did last year, the defending champion Bobcats will then take on either top-seed and tournament host Pitt-Bradford or No. 5 seed La Roche in Saturday's title contest set for 3:00 p.m. The Bobcats downed Pitt-Bradford, 77-73, last season to win their first-ever AMCC crown.

Frostburg State easily disposed of Penn State Altoona, 99-63, in a first-round game Wednesday night at Bobcat Arena, winning for the eighth time in its last 10 games and improving to 15-11 on the season.

Junior forward Pierre Bowery led the Bobcats with a game-high 24 points, while senior guard Sean Brown added 16 points, while junior forward Rob Jones contributed career-high's of 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Bowery leads FSU with 20.7 points and 6.8 rebounds, and he has averaged 22.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in two regular-season games against Behrend.

The Lions won the initial meeting, 66-57, at Erie before being drubbed by the Bobcats, 80-50, in Frostburg February 2.

Brown is adding 15.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest, and he has scored 19.3 points in his last six games. However, he has scored a total of just 22 points in two meetings with Behrend this season, and the Bobcats will certainly need his offensive production this weekend.

The Bobcats' switch to a four-guard offense in the last few weeks has allowed for more playing time for freshman guard Kamillo Rosenthal, and the rookie has responded to the tune of 15.0 points in his last six contests, including three 20-point outings.

Penn State Behrend has won five straight and 13 of its last 15, with its last loss coming to the Bobcats. The Lions have won with a deliberate offense (66.8 ppg) and a stingy defense that ranks among the nation's best, allowing just 59.2 points per game. Behrend is also outrebounding opponents, 34.8-28.2.

Sophomore center James Curren, who had 22 points and eight rebounds in Wednesday's opening-round win over Lake Erie, leads the Lions with 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. He also tops Behrend in both field goal (52.7) and free throw (79.0) shooting percentage.

Sophomore forward Casey Ponsoll, who burned FSU with a game-high 22 points in the first meeting, follows with 11.4 points and 3.3 boards, while junior guard Steve Merrill is adding 10.5 points and 3.6 caroms.

Ponsoll has a team-high 45 three-pointers, while Merrill is close behind with 39 treys.

The game could very well come down to which team comes out ready to play in the opening half.

In the first meeting between the two teams this season, Penn State Behrend built a commanding 28-12 halftime advantage thanks to a dismal 4-of-20 first-half shooting performance by the Bobcats.

FSU mounted a furious comeback, closing to within 56-54 with 44 seconds left, but Behrend went 10-for-10 from the charity stripe to seal the win.

The Bobcats returned the favor in the second meeting, taking a 39-16 halftime lead as the Lions managed just 6-of-21 shooting in the opening stanza.

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