ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The Penn State Mont Alto men's basketball team trailed by six points with two minutes left in the second half in a PSUAC road contest on Tuesday. Mont Alto cut the deficit to as little as two points in the within the final 30 seconds, but couldn't string together one final defensive stop, falling 78-75. Lehigh Valley secured the season series with the win and improved to 10-9 overall and 9-5 in the PSUAC. The loss dropped Mont Alto to 6-8 in the PSUAC and 12-11 overall.
Inside the Box Score
- Mont Alto lost despite a career-high scoring evening from junior guard Jalen Smith (Ranson, W. Va. / Jefferson). He shot just under 55 percent from the field and put up 40 points, which included six made three-pointers. Smith also collected nine rebounds.
- Jefferson High School teammate and now colligate teammate Marcus Roper (Charles Town, W. Va. / Jefferson) was the next best scorer for PSUMA with 10 points. He had a team-high three steals.
- Penn State Mont Alto was held to 29 percent from the field in the first half, but shot 45.7 percent (16-of-35) in the second half.
- Travis Gilbert and Jeremiah Jenkins who each scored 19 points led Lehigh Valley. The duo combined to shoot 6-of-10 from downtown.
How it Happened
- The teams played it evenly with the game up for grabs for most of the 40 minutes of action.
- Both team's shot an identical 38.1 percent clip from three-point range.
- Lehigh Valley's bench had a greater impact on the proceedings scoring five more points than PSUMA's respective bench and they also helped on the boards, which Lehigh Valley finishing with a 53-44 advantage.
- Jalen Smith (Ranson, W. Va. / Jefferson) netted a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 68-71 with 1:41 remaining. A second chance bucket by Lehigh Valley's Jonathan Buie put them back up by five, but a Smith layup cut it to three. Marcus Roper (Charles Town, W. Va. / Jefferson) earned the steal but a Smith layup was blocked out of bounds and a Quintyn Flemister (Harrisburg Pa. / Harrisburg) three-pointer was off the mark. Lehigh Valley's Zach Thomas only hit the front end of his one-of-one putting them up 74-70, as a Roper layup cut the lead to two with 14 seconds left. Lehigh Valley was assisted by a PSUMA turnover and hit their free throws to secure the 78-75 win.
Penn State Mont Alto return to action on Friday, Feb. 9 when it hosts crosstown rival PSU York in the final home game of the 2017-18 season. Game time is slated for 8 p.m.