UPJ men open PSAC tourney with 10 point defeat of Gannon
JOHNSTOWN -- Josh Wise scored 12 of his game-high 19 points in the first half to help fourth-seeded Pitt-Johnstown build a 22-point halftime lead on its way to a 70-60 victory over fifth-seeded Gannon in Monday’s First Round of the 2019 PSAC Tournament in the Sports Center. The Mountain Cats, which closed out its home slate at 13-1, improved to 17-12.
Pitt-Johnstown advances to Wednesday’s PSAC Quarterfinals at the top-seeded Indiana (PA). Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. in the IUP Kovalchick Complex.
Both teams got off to a slow start, but Wise’s jumper at 13:08 of the opening half broke an 8-all tie and sparked a 17-7 Pitt-Johnstown run.
Sean Colosimo’s basket at 7:24 got Gannon back to within nine, but that was as close as the Golden Knights would get the rest of the way.
The Mountain Cats never let the Golden Knights get the deficit under double digits. Pitt-Johnstown closed out the half by outscoring Gannon, 16-3 to push the lead out to 22 at the break. Fred Mulbah connected on a pair of free-throws at 2:17 that pushed it out to 17, before Adam Kline made all three of his free-throws with under a second left to give the Mountain Cat a 43-21 advantage.
Caiden Landis’ layup early in the second half gave Pitt-Johnstown’s its largest lead of the night at 47-23, and the Mountain Cats maintained at least a 15-point lead until a bucket by Victor Olawoye got the Golden Knights to within 13 with 4:20 to play.
Wise’s 19 points, including 8-9 from the free-throw line, paced three Mountain Cats who scored in double figures. Mulbah had 12 points and a game-high six assists, and Landis scored 10 points and pulled down five rebounds. Pitt-Johnstown also got nine points and five rebounds from John Paul Kromka, and seven points and a game-high 10 rebounds off the bench from Olando King, Jr.
Wise currently stands in 20th-place on the Mountain Cat All-Time Scoring List with 1,159 career points. He is now 15 points shy of Tyrone Doleman (1986-88) for 19th-place on the scoring list.
Pitt-Johnstown, which held a 35-24 advantage on the glass, shot 47.5% (19-40) from the floor, 2-13 from 3-point range, and 30-39 from the free-throw line. Gannon was held to 43.8% (21-48) shooting, including 3-10 from behind the arc. The Golden Knights were also just 15-27 from the charity stripe.
Daryl Porter’s 15 points and Jonathan Harwood’s 10 points led the way for the Golden Knights, whose season came to an end at 11-18.