S. MICHAEL HUTCHESON
The Barons basketball team defeated the Pitt-Greensburg Bobcats last Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Finnegan Fieldhouse after an intense tied game that went into overtime in this first AMCC conference game of the season.
The Barons took the Bobcats by storm in the explosive first half, scoring an early lead and ending the half 43-25. Senior forward Juwan Perkins opened the game with several athletic plays in the opening minutes, including two fast break layups. He also knocked in a 3-pointer from the corner assisted by junior guard John Noce, who zipped the ball to him from the other side of the court.
Sophomore guard Sean Hickey was also instrumental to the team’s early success, hitting five shots from downtown in the first half alone. The Barons found themselves up 43-25 heading into the second half.
Pitt-Greensburg fought back in the second half, narrowing the Barons’ lead steadily. Thanks to the continued work of Hickey and Perkins, Franciscan’s two highest scorers of the game, the Barons put up a huge fight and made the Bobcats work for every single point that they got.
After intense back-and-forth play, the half ended in a tie, 66-66, which resulted in five minutes of overtime on the clock. The Barons took full advantage of the first few minutes of extra time, as Noce pushed the floor, making three layups and converting an and-one with a free throw. The overtime struggle ended with a final score of 85-80, Barons.
Sean Hickey ended up with a career high 27 points and added seven rebounds. Perkins scored 19 in his first start of the season, giving the Barons a nice boost with junior guard Joe Schriner out. Noce and junior forward Matt Trent both added 14 points with 19 rebounds between the two of them.
Head Coach Joe Wallace was pleased with his team’s determination during the match. “We had a big lead, we had our foot on the pedal. … They came roaring back, forced overtime and then our guys, … they had that look like they were going to win, and they showed it,” he said.
Wallace was also very happy with the plays that his team was able to make, even under pressure. “I’m really proud of our guys. It’s good that we’re getting tested this way because this is a good experience for down the road.”
The next home game will be played against D’Youville College on Dec. 1 at 3 p.m.