The AMCC Men's Basketball Championship Tournament tipped off Tuesday evening with first round games. #3 Penn State Behrend and #4 Penn State Altoona each picked up first round victories to advance to Friday afternoon's semifinal matchups. The Behrend Lions defeated #6 Mount Aloysius College 65-52, while the Altoona Lions were victorious over #5 Hilbert College with an 81-73 win.
Penn State Behrend 65, Mount Aloysius College 52
The Lions defeated the Mounties for the third time this season to advance to the AMCC semifinals with the 65-52 victory. Behrend registered eight triples on the 13 shots made in the first half for a 35-29 lead. The Lions opened up with three straight from behind the arc, including three from Kenny Fukon. Fukon finished the first half with a team-best 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting. For the game, the Lions shot 54.2 percent from the field and held the Mounties below 40 percent. Behrend grabbed the double-digit lead and stayed out front with 6:29 left in the second half. Fukon and Derrick Clark combined for nearly half of the team's points, as Fukon led with 20 points and Clark added 12. Tyler Gates grabbed a team-best seven rebounds to go with three blocks and two steals. Dorian Connors scored six points in the second half to end with nine, while also adding six rebounds and five assists in the win.
The Behrend Lions return to action on Friday at La Roche University for the AMCC semifinals against No. 2 Pitt-Greensburg. Game time is set for 2:30 p.m.
Penn State Altoona 81, Hilbert College 73
Penn State Altoona defeated Hilbert College 81-73 in a tightly contested game to advance to the AMCC semifinals on Friday afternoon. Tuesday's game featured seven lead changes and 10 ties, but a late run was enough for the Lions to pull away for good. Penn State Altoona's Andruw Harman led all players in the game with 25 points and 12 rebounds to notch his eighth double-double of the season, and he also posted team-highs with seven assists, three blocks, and four steals. Cameron Gardner-Nicholson recorded his team-high 11th double-double of the year, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds to go along with four assists and two blocks. Austin Krise scored 16 points while bringing down five rebounds, and Jack Kusters earned 11 points and eight rebounds.
Hilbert got 20 points and 11 assists from Hunter Martineau. Lazar Jovanovich provided 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks, while Ryan Hogan added 11 points.
Now, Penn State Altoona will look ahead to its AMCC semifinal matchup with number one seed La Roche on the Redhawks' home court this Friday at noon.