BUFFALO, N.Y. - Penn State Altoona men's basketball displayed a strong performance both offensively and defensively on Sunday afternoon, leading to a 91-63 victory over Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent D'Youville College at the College Center Gym.
The Lions (12-7, 8-4 AMCC) put up 91 points -- including a 53-point second half -- while shooting 49.4% from the field, and they also forced D'Youville into committing 29 turnovers while holding the Spartans to 63 points.
"I'm really proud of the team for bouncing back today on a back-to-back, long weekend, which we aren't used to in our scheduling. So I'm really proud of them to be able to put Saturday's loss behind them and come out and get a very much-needed and necessary win," said Penn State Altoona head coach David McGreal. "After yesterday's loss, I felt we needed to be a little more selfless and team-oriented, and that really showed on the court today. You could see that with 24 assists, and almost everybody that got in the game for us scored. A lot of guys stepped up and played big minutes for us today all the way down the bench."
Penn State Altoona's Dequan Jackson (Philadelphia, PA/Murrell Dobbins) led all scorers with 21 points and seven steals. His total of seven steals is tied for the most steals in a game by a Lions player in program history. Rich Bouknight (Norristown, PA/Norristown) added 10 points and five rebounds.
Jalen Archie-Davis (Norcross, GA/Norcross) scored nine points and led all players with eight assists, Ishimeal Nance (Muscle Shoals, AL/Muscle Shoals) scored nine and tied for the team lead in rebounds with seven, and Chucky Drummond (Royersford, PA/Spring-Ford) added nine points. Cameron Gardner-Nicholson (Philadelphia, PA/Boys' Latin Charter) tied for the team-high in rebounds with seven.
D'Youville (5-13, 2-10 AMCC) was led in scoring by Jeremy VanDuluitgaarden, who put up 17 points. Jagdeep Drumgoole and Juan Miguel Rosales chipped in 11 points apiece.
Penn State Altoona and D'Youville battled through a tightly-contested first half of play.
The Spartans held a lead for much of the opening period. VanDuluitgaarden's layup at 15:33 helped his team to a 9-6 lead, and Drumgoole's three-pointer at 14:02 gave the home team a 12-8 advantage. A trey from VanDuluitgaarden at 8:34 put D'Youville up 19-17, and Rosales' jumper at 4:16 made it 26-25.
But Penn State Altoona jumped on top shortly thereafter and never looked back. Gardner-Nicholson's layup at 3:40 and Archie-Davis' jump shot at 2:09 put the Lions up 31-27. Andrew Gal (Malvern, PA/Great Valley) made a layup and hit a three-pointer to keep Penn State Altoona's lead at four points, 36-32, by the 1:13 mark. Austin Krise (Allport, PA/West Branch) added a layup at the 42-second mark, and the Lions headed into the intermission up 38-32.
Penn State Altoona's offense clicked on all cylinders in the second half, outscoring D'Youville 53-31. The Lions used their up-tempo offensive philosophy to wear down the D'Youville defenders, while also capitalizing on turnovers.
"In the second half, our depth and style of play really took their toll on them. We got out and were able to run in every scenario -- off of made baskets, defensive rebounds, or steals. We got out quickly and took advantage of them being a little leg-weary," said McGreal. "We got a really, really good effort defensively, led by DJ and Aubrey [Washington] and Austin, who all came in and gave us a lift defensively with their effort. We got steals and were able to turn those into easy baskets when we were struggling to score in the first half."
Layups from Jackson and Bouknight helped the Lions to a 44-36 lead by the 16:55 mark of the second half. A three-pointer from Archie-Davis, a dunk from Jackson, and a layup from Krise extended the lead to 51-40 by 13:52. After that, Jackson sank two free throws before creating a steal and turning it into a slam at the other end of the court to put Penn State Altoona ahead by 15 points, 55-40, at 13:10.
Later in the half, a trio of layups from Bouknight increased the Lions' advantage to 20 points, 69-49, with 7:57 to go. Two three-pointers by Drummond helped to make it a 30-point game, 81-51, by the 4:29 mark. Richard Dei-Kwarteng (Windsor Hill, MD/Standard of Excellence Academy) made a layup at 3:03 that gave Penn State Altoona its largest lead of the day, 84-51.
Penn State Altoona ended the game with a 26-0 scoring margin over D'Youville in fastbreak points. The Lions also led 56-30 in points in the paint and 36-17 in bench points, and they were plus-15 in the turnover battle.
"Now we turn our sights on Franciscan for another road game in conference," said McGreal. "They'er a much-improved team since the last time that we played them. They're playing very well, and we have to be ready to go in order to get another big time conference win on the road."
Men's basketball travels to face AMCC foe Franciscan University this Wednesday, January 31 at 6:00 p.m.