W&J Downed By Penn State-Beaver At Home Tournament
WASHINGTON, Pa. – Penn State-Beaver forced 25 turnovers during an 80-69 victory over the Washington & Jefferson College men’s basketball team in the opening round of the Washington Area Credit Union Tournament at the Henry Memorial Center on Saturday night.
Penn State-Beaver (1-0) advanced to Sunday’s championship game (3:00 pm) where it will face Ohio Northern, a 76-74 overtime winner against Hood earlier Saturday. W&J (0-2) will battle the Blazers in the consolation game at 1:00 pm on Sunday.
Sophomore forward Nate Bellhy (Fort Cherry, Pa./McDonald) paced the Presidents with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while older brother Zach Bellhy (Fort Cherry, Pa./McDonald) contributed 14 points.
The Lions started fast as Mike Agurs and Lamont Wright both netted four points during an 11-3 Penn State-Beaver run to open the game. Beaver steadily built its lead to as many as 15 points during the opening 20 minutes and led 41-28 at halftime. Nick Miller totaled 14 points, while Agurs added nine points and three steals during the first half.
Beaver continued to grow its advantage during the second stanza. Agurs drained a pair of free throws with 9:05 remaining to make the Lions lead 20 points.
Fueled by the Bellhy brothers, W&J chipped away during the next eight minutes. Nate Bellhy started a 9-0 spurt with a three-pointer and Zach followed with a triple and a layup, as the Presidents closed the margin to seven points at 71-64 with under 90 seconds to play.
Patrick Horton responded with a three-pointer and Julian Taylor added a layup as the Lions lead ballooned back to 12. W&J cut the lead to as small as eight during the final minute but could not manage to get closer.
Agurs poured in a game-high 25 points, including a 16-of-20 performance from the free throw stripe and grabbed seven rebounds and six steals. Miller drained five three-pointers to finish with 23 points, while also dishing out four assists.
Senior forward Ben Cecchini (Jamestown, N.Y./Jamestown) collected 12 points, nine rebounds and a team-high five assists for the Presidents, who shot 44 percent (25-57) from the floor.
W&J was hurt by 25 turnovers, compared to just 11 by Penn State-Beaver. The Lions drained 11 shots from beyond the arc and drilled 42 percent of their shots from the floor (26-61).