Beaver rallies past Shenango in tight match, 55-50

John staring down a defender.
John staring down a defender.

By: Matylda Zamudio

Monaca, Pa.—Penn State Beaver defeated conference rival Penn State Shenango with critical late-game stops by the defense in a close match at Wednesday night's PSUAC home game.

Beaver was led by freshman guard Keon Butler (Annapolis/Star Severn School), who scored 19 points followed by junior guard John Foster (Austin/Del Valle) contributing 16 points of his own.

Two additional notable performance came from sophomore forward Andrew Brady (Alliance/Marlington), who scored 11 points and nine rebounds and freshman forward/center Jeremy Redwine (Merced), tallying up 10 rebounds for the night.

1st period: Foster sparked Beaver's offense, hitting a 3-pointer off the tip. Beaver kept a one-score lead over

Shenango for the next five minutes until Foster made a jump shot to give Beaver a 5-point lead at 14:13 (7-2). Shenango fought back and tied the game at 7-7, but Butler then answered the call for Beaver, sinking back-to-back shots from behind the arch to edge out a 4-point lead (13-9). Shenango took a 1-point lead at 4:09, but it was short-lived thanks to another 3-pointer from Foster to put Beaver back in the lead, 19-17. At 1:30, Shenango attempted a jump shot that would have cut Beaver's lead to only a point, but it was blocked by Redwine who also got the rebound for Beaver. But in the final minutes, Beaver would lead by 1 point at halftime.

2nd period: In the first minute of the second half, a foul call on Shenango sent Brady to the free-throw line, hitting both to bring Beaver's lead up to 3 points (28-25). With under 10 minutes to go in the game, Foster hit back-to-back shots from downtown in less than two minutes to help Beaver take a 7-point lead (44-37). At 4:19 Shenango tied the game up once again, but Beaver got the momentum back after Redwine made a bucket on an assist by Foster. Only ahead by one-possession at the 40-second mark, a foul on Shenango afforded Butler two-free throw attempts to which he scored both and gave Beaver a two-score lead 53-49. The defense then held Shenango to only 1 more point, earning Beaver a 55-50 conference victory, outscoring Shenango 29-25 in the final half.

Box Score Highlights: Beaver racked up five more rebounds (31-26), five more assists and eight more points off turnovers than Scranton. Beaver also outscored Scranton 12-4 on second-chance points. Beaver also built its biggest lead of 9 points at 7:05 in the second. 

Coach Brian Bibey said he was proud of the team's toughness down the stretch tonight.

"We executed on the defensive end, got stops when we needed them and also were able to rebound the ball down at the end of the game," Bibey added.

After tonight's victory against Shenango, the Beaver Lions improve to a 3-1 record in the PSUAC standing, with a 5-2 regular season record.

The Lions play away in their next game against at Penn State Mont Alto on Friday, Dec. 7. The game is set for 8 p.m.