By: Evan Pinchot
DuBois, Pa -- The Penn State Beaver basketball team traveled to Penn State DuBois for a late season matchup against another good conference opponent. Beaver has struggled this season, going 5-7 in conference play heading into this game. Coming off of two tough conference loses, the team would need to win this game if they were to have any shot of sneaking into the playoff picture at this point.
Beaver started off this game shooting well right out of the gates, hitting three 3-pointers in the first four minutes to jump out to an early lead. The team continued to shoot well through the next 10 minutes of play as they built themselves a double digit lead. However, DuBois began to answer back quickly and with six minutes left before the half they began to cut down on this lead thanks to multiple missed 3-point oppourtunites by Beaver. At the end of the first half of play, Beaver was only 4-16 from 3-point range, making 3 of those shots in the first 4 minutes, and their lead had diminshed to a six point, 51-45 score going into half.
The second half of play featured a much shakier shooting performance out of Beaver, as they dropped from a near 48% shooting percentage to a mere 36% while still going 4-16 from 3-point range. This poor offensive performance opened the door for a comeback by DuBois, and the team took advantage of this by capitalizing on good shots in the second half, shooting an outstanding 57% from the field. Beaver's struggles offensively were eventually their downfall as DuBois was quickly able to overtake their lead, winning this game by a final score of 100-93.
With their loss to DuBois, Beaver now sits at 9-13 overall with a 5-8 conference record. The team has struggled as of late, losing their last three games and falling farther out of contention for a spot in the PSUAC playoffs. Beaver is now a longshot to make it into the playoffs, and they have to win out in conference play to have any chance of extending their season. Although the team struggled in this game, they were led in their losing effort by Freshman Markel Sayles (Pittsburgh, PA / Perry Traditional), who scored a team high 22 points. The team will play next on Saturday, February 4, at Penn State Fayette. Game time is set for 7 pm.