The Franciscan University of Steubenville men’s basketball team lost 91-82 in their first game of the season against Penn State Beaver Friday at 7 p.m.
Once the first half began, the Barons came out strong with quick footwork as the first few points were scored by senior guard Justin Mack.
By the end of the first half, however, Penn State gained the lead, with a score of 44-36.
For the second half, the crowd became extra loud, and the students section stood up to shout and cheer on the Barons.
During the course of the two halves, the game tied three times, and the leading team changed four times.
From among the Barons, Mack was the player with the most points by the end of the game, with a total of 21 points, followed closely by graduate student guard Sean Hickey, who scored 17 points.
The student energy in the bleachers remained undeterred in spite of the loss.
Joe Wallace, head men’s basketball coach, said, “(The Barons) had a lot of first game jitters and we were not on the same page at times. Our chemistry was off and showed in crucial moments. We have to make adjustments and pick up a win on Sunday.”
Wallace said, “The student section was unbelievable. They brought energy and it was fun to see.”
Before the game, Dave Fatula, Franciscan’s events coordinator, was presented with a game ball in honor of his many contributions and support to Franciscan. This was followed by applause from the audience.
Sophomore Alexandra Razo said, “I am proud of our Franciscan men because they played with their heart and soul out there. Even though they played a very difficult team, they tried hard and they had good sportsmanship.”
The Barons’ next home game will be against Penn State Fayette Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Finnegan Fieldhouse.