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Men's Basketball Advances to AMCC Championship Game With Hard-Fought Win over Penn State Behrend

BRADFORD, PA - Junior Pierre Bowery (Kensington, Md./Albert Einstein) scored a team-high 22 points, and sophomore Dustin Robinson (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) added a career-high 17, including three straight three-pointers to snap a 53-53 tie midway through the second half, as No. 3 Frostburg State downed No. 2 Penn State Behrend, 83-74, in the semifinals of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Tournament Friday night at Pitt-Bradford's McDowell Sports Complex.

The Bobcats, who won their fourth straight and ninth in their last 11 games, advance to Saturday's 3:00 p.m. title contest for the second year in a row and will face either No. 1 Pitt-Bradford or No. 5 La Roche.

Robinson, who had scored a total of 53 points in FSU's first 26 games, gave FSU a 53-48 lead at the 13:41 mark with three free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt. Behrend then scored five straight to forge a 53-53 tie, but Robinson drained treys on three consecutive FSU possessions to give FSU its largest lead of the game, 62-53, with 9:24 to play.

"Dustin has to be the story of the game," said third-year head coach Webb Hatch. "He just did a great job for us tonight."

Behrend sophomore James Curren, who finished with a game-high 41 points on 15-of-20 shooting from the floor and an 11-for-14 effort from the free-throw line, did his best to rally the Lions, scoring seven of his club's next nine points to bring Behrend to within three, 66-63, with 6:58 remaining.

Bowery then took over for the Bobcats, scoring 10 straight points for FSU over the next four minutes. His final basket followed a three-point play by Curren and gave the Bobcats a 76-71 edge with 2:01 left.

The Bobcats then hit 7-of-8 free throws in the final 1:06 to seal the win. FSU, which entered the game shooting 71.1 percent from the charity stripe this season, sank a season-high 92.3 percent (24-of-26) from the line, while Penn State Behrend was nearly as hot, hitting 21-of-26.

The teams battled through an even first 20 minutes of play, with neither squad able to create much breathing room.

Junior A.J. Ernst (Minster, Ohio/Minster) scored FSU's first seven points, nailing a three-pointer to open the game before draining a pair of free throws and adding a steal and layup as the Bobcats took an early 7-4 lead.

Penn State Behrend countered with a 6-0 run to move in front, 10-7, before Bowery entered the contest. Bowery, who did not start because of disciplinary reasons, sparked a 9-1 run with a pair of free throws, a block and a turnaround jumper in the lane that gave FSU a 16-11 advantage at the 11:29 mark.

The Lions again answered, using a 10-5 spurt to tie the game at 21. Bobcat freshman Kamillo Rosenthal (Munich, Germany/Catholic (Va.)) hit a three-pointer from the left wing to put FSU back in front, and senior Elroy Henley (Randallstown, Md./Owings Mills) and Bowery hit consecutive baskets to give the Bobcats a 28-23 lead with 4:42 left in the first half.

It was once again Behrend's turn to make a run, and the Lions regained the lead, 32-30, on four free throws from sophomore James Curren and a three-pointer by Matt Keith. FSU's full court pressure resulted in two free throws each by Bowery and junior Robert Jones (Ft. Washington, Md./Friendly), and Bowery hit another jumper with 1:13 left to give the Bobcats a 36-32 lead.

However, Steve Merrill drained two shots from the charity stripe before Curren laid the ball in just before the horn to forge a 36-36 tie at the break.

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