MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Gallaudet entered the Capital Union Building (CUB) on Wednesday night, Jan. 16 looking to knock off Penn State Harrisburg and get back into the race in the North Eastern Athletic Conference's (NEAC) South Division. The Lions, however, refused to play the role of gracious hosts. In a physical contest, the Blue and White held off the rival Bison 60-51.
As it has the past few contests, Harrisburg's senior duo of Jordan Gatchell (Manheim, Pa. / Manheim Central) and Thristan Lundy (Philadelphia, Pa. / Samuel Fels) came through in a big way. Gatchell led the Lions with 16 points while Lundy finished one rebound shy of recording a double-double.
Forward Danny Kelly posted a double-double for Gallaudet, recording game-highs of 25 points and ten rebounds.
Lundy went to work right out of the gate, banging with the Bison's big men down low and scoring six of the Lions' first ten points. Gatchell took care of the other four tallies, including a pretty breakaway reverse layup at the 15:24 mark.
The visitors grabbed their first lead of the game five minutes later when leading-scorer Layton Seeber knocked down a mid-range jumper and put the Bison up 14-12.
Penn State Harrisburg faced its largest deficit of the game at 23-14 following a Kelly layup with 6:21 remaining in the first half.
Gatchell connected on a deep three-ball on the Lions' next possession and sparked an 11-0 run that regained the lead for the home team and culminated in a layup by freshman Arick Sodini (Manalapan, N.J. / St. John Vianney).
Harrisburg sophomore sharpshooter Ethan Strayer (East Petersburg, Pa. / Hempfield) was pure from beyond the arc just before the half and gave his squad a 28-26 advantage heading into the break.
The Blue and White got hot from downtown in the second half. With the shot clock about to expire, Gatchell brought the hometown fans to their feet by knocking down a jumper a good seven steps beyond the three-point line.
Junior Will Doyle (Franklin, Va. / Tidewater Academy) got into the action and showed off his range when he hit a pair of three-balls on the next two Harrisburg possessions. Sophomore Alberto De Los Santos (Enola, Pa. / East Pennsboro) put home a three-pointer of his own moments later and extended the Lions' lead to 42-37 with 13:25 remaining.
Two minutes later, a Kelly layup cut the deficit to one but back-to-back buckets by Sodini pushed the home team's lead back to five with 8:15 left to play.
Kelly continued to play well in crunch time and another layup brought the Bison within two but the Lions locked the windows and doors defensively down the stretch while doing enough on offense to gain some breathing room.
Lundy stayed strong in the paint. With 3:19 remaining, he grabbing his own rebound and despite getting fouled, laid his second shot in off the glass. He converted the free throw to give Penn State Harrisburg a 54-49 advantage.
Gallaudet's James Steingieser hit a layup on the ensuing possession to cut the Bison's deficit to three.
The visitors got a stop and the ball back but a Seeber technical foul sent Gatchell to the charity stripe where he knocked down both free throws with just 1:43 left in the game.
Gallaudet missed a number of shots down the stretch while Sodini and Strayer added to the Lions' lead and sealed the team's fifth conference victory of the year.
Despite being outshot from the field, Penn State Harrisburg created and took advantage of 34 Bison turnovers and scored 33 points off of them. The Lions also scored 15 second chance points compared to just six scored by Gallaudet. Harrisburg's bench also outscored the visitors' reserves 17-8.
In addition to his point total, Gatchell added four assists and four steals. Lundy finished with 11 tallies and nine rebounds with six of them coming on offense. Sodini netted ten while De Los Santos added eight points. Sophomore Joey Farthing (Lancaster, Pa. / Hempfield) finished with four assists.
The hard-fought victory improved Harrisburg's overall record to 8-9 on the year. The team's 5-1 record in league play is good enough to give it a share of first place in the NEAC's South Division along with Penn State Berks.
The Lions take to the road this weekend for their next contest. Penn State Harrisburg faces SUNY Cobleskill on Saturday, Jan. 19.