Following an intense contest between the Baron basketball team and its Penn State-Altoona opponents, the Barons lost their game on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 8 p.m. by a slim margin, ending the night with a score of 74-72 Lions.
After the Penn State Lions won the tip, sophomore guard Sean Hickey made the first shot of the night, giving the Barons the lead early. The Lions quickly followed behind with two points of their own, already tying the game 2-2 with 18:39 left on the clock and the crowd already standing in excitement.
The stands went wild as Hickey shot a 3-pointer along with another 2-point shot, solidifying the lead at 9-4. The Barons kept up the lead with a 3-pointer from freshman guard Justin Mack, a foul shot from freshman forward Travis Lien and a 2-point jump shot from junior center Matt Trent, bringing the score up 15-6 Barons with 13:55 left to play.
The Lions tried to catch up with a basket, bringing the score to 15-7. The Barons stayed ahead with a foul shot from junior forward Josh York and a layup from Trent, leaving a score of 18-8 with 11:01 to go.
After scoring two more points, the Lions called for a time-out at 10:02. After that, the Lions gained two points with the Barons, who followed it up with a 2-point shot of their own made by junior forward Joe Schriner, bringing the score 20-12.
With 7:46 left on the clock, the Lions came close with a 3-pointer, bringing the score to 22-17. The Barons continued to remain ahead with foul shots from Hickey and Schriner, leaving a score of 24-17. As the Lions fought back with four points of their own, the Barons again pulled ahead with nine more points, bringing the score to 33-23 with 3:44 to go.
The Lions scored a 2-pointer, which the Barons followed with another 3-pointer from Hickey before the Barons called a time-out. Once back on the court, the Barons came back with fire, scoring five more points while the Lions scored four, bringing the score to 41-29 Barons with 48.1 seconds left on the clock.
The first half finished 42-32 as Trent scored a foul shot and Penn State came back with a foul and 2-pointer of its own.
After warming up for the second half, the Barons wrestled on the court as they gained six more points, while the Lions followed up with nine points of their own, bringing the score to 48-41. After a time-out, Penn State fought back with a dunk that was quickly negated by a 3-pointer from junior guard John Noce, bringing the score 51-43 with 13:41 to play.
Penn State crawled back in the game throughout the second half and brought it within four points with three foul shots, bringing the score to 51-47 with 10:48 left on the clock. After a time-out, the Barons struggled with the Lions as they both scored eight points, each followed by another time-out, leaving the score 57-55 Barons.
Once back on court, the Barons again struggled, giving up eight points while scoring seven of their own. After another time-out, Trent scored a 2-pointer while the Lions followed with a 2-pointer and a foul, bringing the score to 69-68 Barons with 1:49 left to play.
The Lions passed the Barons, and the Barons pushed back to tie with their opponent, standing at 72-72 with 18.3 seconds left. The Barons soon gave up two points on a rebound putback with 2.4 seconds left, ending the game 74-72 Lions.
Head Coach Joe Wallace commented on the excitement in the stands. “With the rest of these games, we are going to need (the student section),” he said. “We need everything since our margin of error for winning a basketball game is so small, and that includes the incredible home court advantage this crowd brings; we just need to take advantage of it.”
The Barons next home game will be Saturday, Jan. 26, at 4 p.m. against Medaille College.