MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – For the second-straight year, Penn State Harrisburg's season came to an end at the hands of Morrisville State. On Saturday, Feb. 23, the top-seeded Mustangs hosted and defeated the Blue & White 66-40 in their North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Championship Tournament Semifinal matchup.
No Lion player reached the double-digit scoring-mark. Senior Thristan Lundy (Philadelphia, Pa. / Samuel Fels) led the way offensively with nine points. Junior Will Doyle (Franklin, Va. / Tidewater Academy) was the team's second-highest scorer with seven.
The visitors jumped out to an early 4-0 lead thanks to buckets by freshman Arick Sodini (Manalapan, N.J. / St. John Vianney) and Lundy. Sophomore Alberto De Los Santos (Enola, Pa. / East Pennsboro) kept Harrisburg's early momentum rolling by burying a three-pointer to put the Lions up 11-5 at the 12:40 mark.
But it didn't take Morrisville long to turn the tables. The Mustangs used an 8-0 run over the next 4:27 to grab a 13-11 advantage with 8:13 remaining in the first half.
A dunk by Lion sophomore Joey Farthing (Lancaster, Pa. / Hempfield) knotted things up at 13 on Harrisburg's ensuing possession but the Mustangs started to distance themselves from there on out.
Morrisville scored the game's next seven points and Mickey Davis' jump shot stretched the lead to 27-18 with 2:27 left before the break.
Lundy and Sodini scored baskets on two-consecutive Penn State Harrisburg possessions to cut the deficit to five but the home team answered in the last minute of the half, netting four points in 36 seconds to push its advantage to 31-22 heading into halftime.
After his squad fell behind by 12 early in the second half, De Los Santos knocked down another jumper from beyond the arc to slash the deficit to single digits. Trailing 36-27 with 16:58 left in the game, it was the last time Harrisburg would get that close.
Morrisville used a 16-4 run over the next four and a half minutes to grab its largest advantage of the afternoon to that point at the 12:21 mark. Leading 50-31, the Mustangs controlled the contest the rest of the way.
The home team bested the Lions in nearly every statistical category, including field-goal percentage, rebounds, assists, free-throw shooting, points in the paint and bench points. It was a far cry from Harrisburg's 70-58 regular-season victory over Morrisville less than three weeks ago. In that contest, the Blue & White shot lights out from downtown and out-rebounded the opposition for just the second time all year.
De Los Santos finished with six points before fouling out, as did Farthing and senior captain Jordan Gatchell (Manheim, Pa. / Manheim Central). Gatchell also pulled-in a game-high seven rebounds in his final game as a member of the program. Doyle and De Los Santos dished-out a team-best three assists.
Penn State Harrisburg finished the year with a 12-15 overall record. The 2012-13 campaign was the Lions' first since 2010 that ended short of the NEAC Tournament's Championship game. It was also the team's last conference tournament appearance. Harrisburg will compete as a member of the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) beginning next fall.