Middletown, Pa. - Penn State Harrisburg began their season Saturday November 15th in the opening game of the Inaugural Penn State Harrisburg Tip-off tournament presented by Hershey Park. The Lions first opponent of the tournament was City College of New York (CCNY).
Today's game gave the Lions many new faces a chance to see their first action in the Harrisburg uniform. Three of Harrisburgs returning starters were out due to injury opening a window of opportunity for the next men in line.
Harrisburg was led by second year point guard Marquese Daniels and Sophomore Arick Sodini. Daniels had a solid outing for the Blue and White finishing with nine points on top of scoring some very tough points late in the game to help cut into CCNY's lead. Sodini had a strong showing as he was able to slice through the CCNY defense and convert time and time again, he finished with 17 points on the game.
While the Lions speed and pressure managed to cause some turnovers, CCNY was able to maintain a strong lead throughout the game. Their constant crashing of the glass halted the speedy Lions from getting out on the break.
With the game seeming out of hand for the Lions, coach Friday called a timeout and urged his team to make a run and cut the deficit. And thats exactly what they did. The Lions went on a run and were able to cut the deficit in half and a free throw by Daniels brought the CCNY lead to nine with seven minutes left in the game.
Newcomers Danny Downs and Tariq Bennet saw their first action as Lions. Downs used his size and strength to bully his way inside on multiple offensive putbacks for the lions. Bennet with his quickness and energy on both offence and defense helped spark the Harrisburg rally. Bennet finished the game with a team high 20 points. Unfortunately, this valient effort by Harrisburg fell short as CCNY knocked down free throw after free throw in the closing minutes of the game.
The Blue and White's next contest will be the consolation game Sunday Nov. 15th at 1pm.