MIDDLETOWN, Pa- Penn State Harrisburg's Jordan Gatchell (Manheim, PA/Manheim Central) must have had ice water in his veins on Saturday, Dec. 3. With just 2.5 seconds remaining on the clock, the point guard methodically brought the ball across half court, quickly drove to his left and calmly sank a game-winning 18 footer to down North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) rival Penn State Berks 81-79.
The Lions got off to a strong start and took a 14 point lead into halftime. But in the second period, Penn State Harrisburg slowly watched the cushion evaporate as the game wound down. When Penn State Berks took the lead with just over one minute remaining in the contest, things looked bleak for the home team.
But senior forward David Reisinger (Harrisburg, PA/Central Dauphin East) snatched the momentum back on the Lions' next possession by connecting on a lay-up, getting fouled and burying the free throw to reclaim the lead for the blue and white with less than a minute to play. Senior forward Kenton Alston (Harrisburg, PA/Steel-High) knocked down two crucial foul shots moments later but Berks junior Michael Perone (Middlesex, NJ/Middlesex) hit a clutch three to tie things up with ten seconds left to play. Overtime was looming.
But Gatchell had other plans.
The junior dished out a team-best six assists and netted 14 points for the day but none were bigger than the last two. Alston scored a game-high 23 points and added ten rebounds and three blocks. Junior guard Steve Jones (Harrisburg, PA/Harrisburg) led all others with 14 rebounds to go along with his ten points. Freshman guard Amani Glenn (Harrisburg, PA/Central Dauphin East) was the only other Lion to record double digit points with ten.
The heart stopping victory improved Penn State Harrisburg to 4-2 on the season and 2-0 in conference play. The Lions' next contest comes Tuesday night, Dec. 6 when they travel to Messiah College for a tough non-conference matchup.