MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg's 2013-14 season came to an end on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 22 when the Lions fell to the 19th-ranked team in the country in Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) opponent Mary Washington 82-56. The visiting Eagles (20-5, 12-4 CAC) used a ferocious first half flurry that saw them bury nine three-pointers to jump out to a commanding lead in the early going and the Blue & White struggled to make a dent in the deficit as the game wore on.
While Mary Washington did just about everything right on Saturday afternoon, the one thing the visitors just could not do was slow down Penn State Harrisburg senior captain Will Doyle (Franklin, Va. / Tidewater Academy). Playing in his final collegiate contest, the Virginia native scored a game-high 23 tallies and in the process netted his 900th career point and grabbed a share of the program's record of career three-point field goals made (153 total).
Despite getting some good looks, the Lions were unable to convert on their early chances and fell behind 8-0 to begin the game. Doyle kept the Blue & White in it by knocking down back-to-back jumpers from beyond the arc before Mary Washington pushed its advantage to 21-9 thanks to a 13-3 run over a five minute stretch. The Eagles hit three treys during the crucial stretch.
Doyle hit his third three of the game at the 6:05 mark but the Lions had trouble slowing down the visitors' impressive shooting output before the break. The Eagles ended the half on a 14-5 run and took a commanding 46-21 lead into halftime. In the first half alone, Mary Washington shot an impressive 58.1 percent from the field, including 50 percent (9-18) from behind the three-point line.
Doyle did all he could to keep his team in it and scored six of the Lions' first ten second half points, including his record-tying three-ball and a strong, old-fashioned three-point play in the paint.
After Penn State Harrisburg cut the deficit to under 20 points however, the Eagles made another run, this time of the 10-0 variety over a three minute stretch, to push their advantage to 59-30 with 12:51 left to play.
Blue & White junior Joshua Johnson (Franklin, Va. / Southampton) heated up in the second half, teaming up with fellow Virginian in Doyle to knock down a pair of shots from distance and provide a spark for the home team as the game wound down. Sophomore Rayshaun Anderson-Brown (Carlisle, Pa. / Carlisle) also provided some life down the stretch thanks to his scrappy play in the paint.
With the outcome well in hand, Doyle converted 5-6 free throws as the clock ticked away. His final collegiate attempt came from the foul line and cemented his legacy as one of Penn State Harrisburg's all-time top scorers as he became just the fifth player in school-history to reach the 900-point scoring plateau. After sinking his final free throw, he was given a standing ovation by the hometown faithful in attendance at the Capital Union Building.
Moments later, fellow senior captain Kenny Stone (Philadelphia, Pa. / Scotland) was given the same well-deserved treatment from the hometown fans as he joined Doyle and the rest of his teammates on the Penn State Harrisburg sideline. After missing two of the team's final four contests due to injury, Stone battled Saturday afternoon and grabbed two rebounds in addition to swiping a steal and blocking one Mary Washington shot attempt.
In addition to his point total, Doyle added four boards and three assists. Johnson turned in the best performance of his collegiate career as he shot with great confidence (4-4 from the field) on his way to an 11-point outing. Anderson-Brown added seven points, four rebounds and two blocks while junior Joey Farthing (Lancaster, Pa. / Hempfield) pitched in with four points and a team-high seven rebounds.
The defeat brought the Penn State Harrisburg's final record to 8-17 on the year and 5-11 in CAC play. In their first year of competition in the league, the Lions showed they belonged, fighting for a playoff spot until the final week of the season and picking up some of the best and most memorable wins in school-history over 14th-ranked Christopher Newport in January and Marymount (Va.) two weeks ago.
Saturday was also Penn State Harrisburg's Senior Day and Stone and Doyle were honored pregame for their countless contributions to the school's men's basketball program.
Stone has been a member of the Penn State Harrisburg family the past three years, playing in 75 games and starting 22 of them. The Philadelphia native's 530 career points rank him seventh on the program's all-time scoring list and his 60 career blocks are the second-highest total in school history. Kenny's name can be found on three more of the program's career top ten lists, including rebounds, steals and field goal percentage. One of his most memorable performances came earlier this season against Bryn Athyn when he scored a career-high 27 points.
"Kenny's leadership and love of this team has been evident since day one," said Penn State Harrisburg head coach Don Friday. "He has been ready to battle every single time out. These traits combined with a Penn State diploma are going to make him a successful alum of our institution."
Doyle has proven himself to be one of the most dynamic players in Penn State Harrisburg history. He's played in 76 games the past three years, starting every one of them. His 900 career points rank him fourth on the school's all-time list, as do his 309 rebounds and 97 steals. He's knocked down 153 career three-pointers and dished-out 298 assists; both numbers are good enough to rank him second all-time. Earlier this season, Will turned in a record-breaking performance when he put up 40 points against Southern Vermont; the highest single game total since Penn State Harrisburg began NCAA play.
"Will represents everything I believe in as a coach," said Friday. "I'm privileged to have coached him this season. He has left a footprint on our program and has set the tone for our future."
Both young men have made tremendous impacts on the program and will be missed moving forward.
Follow us on Twitter - @PSHbgAthletics
Follow us on Facebook – group name PSHathletics