Bald Eagle men rally
LOCK HAVEN — In the game of basketball as in any other sport, it isn’t how you start, but how you finish.
Getting out of the gate a little slow, the Lock Haven University basketball team got stronger and stronger as the game went on and as result, the Bald Eagles downed Millersville 72-68 in a PSAC East matchup at Thomas Field House.
“What is funny is that I asked for a few things,” said LHU head coach Mike Nestor. “We wanted to make sure that we didn’t turn the ball over. We had 11 in the first half and finished with only three more. In the second half, we did a much better job of taking care of the ball which is something we had to do.”
The two teams traded buckets until the Marauders sneaked away to a 15-11 lead eight minutes into the game. From there, ‘Ville extended its lead to as many as eight four minutes later until they eventually led 39-30 at the break.
The halftime stats told part of the story as The ‘Ville held a 50-39 edge in field goal percentage, the Marauders making good on 7 three-pointers while the Bald Eagles only hit two.
Re-energized to begin the second half, the Bald Eagles went to work on both ends of the floor to cut their deficit to 42-40 on a putback by Craig Slade before tying the score at 42-all on a short jumper by Ra’eese Hunt.
After a tie at 50-all, the Marauders again went to work on offense to take a 57-52 lead. However, the Bald Eagles kept scrapping and battling until they took a 68-67 lead with 40 ticks of the clock left.
Not to be denied, the Bald Eagles turned things up on both ends of the floor to walk off the floor with the 4-point win sparked by a trey from Cole Renninger with 39 seconds left.
For The ‘Ville, Marcus Adkinson was the one-man wrecking crew from long range as he canned five treys en route to a game-high total of 25 points. Not to allow Adkinson take over the game, that is when Nestor made a defensive change that paid off big dividends for LHU down the stretch.
In the end, it was some local flavor that sealed the deal for the Eagles as Renninger, from Central Mountain, hit his huge 3-pointer in the final minute before coming down with the game’s final rebound as time ran off the clock.
“He (Renninger) came off a tough game against Kutztown and I think he felt pretty bad about,” said Nestor. “He missed a couple of foul shots but man, did he hit a big shot tonight or what. He works so hard and I was happy for him because he deserved it.”
During the final minute, Renninger was all over the floor while nailing down the win.
“This win really means a lot. We were looking for a big win and this was one of those. Hopefully we can build off of it,” said Renninger. “Hopefully we can keep it going from here. We have been to the playoffs the last four years so we are trying to keep that streak going as well. We want to get there and win at least one game.
Hinton led LHU with 19 points, and Ra’eese Hunt scored 18.
Now 7-6, 3-6 PSAC EAst, the Bald Eagles will travel to Cheyney Wednesday before returning home Saturday at 4 vs. Shippensburg.
MILLERSVILLE (5-8, 4-5 PSAC)
ADKISON, Marcus 9-17 2-5 25; YARDE II, Cornell 6-14 0-0 16; CHAMBERS, Conrad 4-8 2-3 12; MONT, Markeith 3-4 2-2 8; LOTT, Jon 2-4 0-0 5; PATTERSON, Tommy 1-2 0-0 2; GREENE, Jordan 0-3 0-0 0; KABA, Amadou 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 25-54 6-12 68.
LOCK HAVEN (7-6, 3-6 PSAC)
HINTON, Amir 7-13 4-5 19; HUNT, Ra’eese 8-16 2-4 18; RENNINGER, Cole 6-7 0-0 13; BARNES, Jihad 2-7 2-2 7; SLADE, Craig 3-4 0-2 6; CAMPBELL, Khaleeq 0-3 4-5 4; JACKSON, Brahieme 0-1 3-4 3; BRAKE, Tarojae 0-2 2-2 2. Totals 26-53 17-24 72.
Halftime: Millersville, 39-30. 3-point goals–Millersville 12-25 (ADKISON, 5-9; YARDE II, 4-8; CHAMBERS, 2-3; LOTT, 1-2; GREENE, 0-2; PATTERSON, 0-1), Lock Haven 3-12 (BARNES, 1-3; RENNINGER, 1-2; HINTON, 1-3; CAMPBELL, 0-2; BRAKE, 0-2). Fouled out-None. Rebounds–Millersville 24 (YARDE II, 7), Lock Haven 40 (HINTON, 9). Assists–Millersville 12 (CHAMBERS, 5), Lock Haven 10 (BARNES, 4). Total fouls–Millersville 21, Lock Haven 16. Technical fouls-None. A-146