Berkeley College (NY) men's basketball team defeated by Penn State Beaver 76-68 in play-in round of 2014 USCAA National Basketball Tournament

The No. 9 seeded Berkeley College (NY) men’s basketball team lost in the play-in round of the 2014 USCAA National Basketball Tournament, falling to the No. 8 seeded Nittany Lions of Penn State Beaver by a score of 76-68 in a game played at the Main Arena in Uniontown, PA. With the loss, the Knights saw their quest for a National title come to an end, as their record dipped to 14-10 on the season. Berkeley will play one more game this season, and that will come tomorrow afternoon against Penn State Fayette at 1:15pm. With the victory, Penn State Beaver advances to the quarterfinal round of the tournament tomorrow, as they will take on No. 1 seeded Central Maine C.C., with game-time scheduled for 5:30pm.

The first half of the game saw the Knights fall behind early, as Penn State Beaver hit six of their first 11 shots from the field en route to taking 14-5 lead, which turned out to be their largest lead of the opening session. Later - with 8:35 remaining in the half, the Knights’ defense came on strong as Berkeley made a run. In a span of 6:07, the Knights allowed just one Nittany Lion field goal while putting together an 11-3 run and taking a 32-30 lead. Penn State Beaver would score the final four points of the period to take a 34-32 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

The second stanza began with the Knights hitting on all cylinders. Just 14 seconds into the half, senior guard Jovan Bovell knocked down a three point basket to put Berkeley back on top 35-34. After senior forward Chris Weathers dropped in a layup to give the Nittany Lions the lead again (36-35), Knights senior guard Richard Rampersad connected on a triple to push Berkeley ahead 38-36.

From there, neither team would grab bigger than a three point lead until Weathers knocked down a three-point basket to give his team a 52-48 edge with 9:36 to go in the contest. The Knights stayed close, as they trailed just 60-56 with 4:45 remaining. From there, Penn State Beaver would put together an 11-3 run (while allowing just one Berkeley field goal) over the ensuing 3:50 to take a 71-59 lead and essentially punch their ticket to the quarterfinal round of the tournament. Berkeley College did score nine points in the final minute, but that was all window dressing as the Nittany Lions drained five of their six free throw attempts in the waning moments to account for an eight point victory.

Despite the loss for the Knights, Berkeley College was paced by sophomore guard Keenan Langston who scored team-high 14 points to go along with four rebounds. Bovell added 13 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists, and senior guard Mario Guzman drained three triples and finalized his evening with 12 points.

In the victory for Penn State Beaver, the Nittany Lions got a tremendous effort from sophomore forward Rob Agurs, as he scored a game-high 26 points while nailing 16 of 22 of his attempts from the charity stripe. He also grabbed five rebounds, dished three assists, tallied two steals and blocked two shots. Weathers was also impressive as he dropped in 25 points and snatched three caroms, and senior guard Nick Miller added 16 points in the win.

Free throw attempt efficiency was pivotal in this one, as Penn State Beaver took 36 shots from the charity stripe while drilling 28 of them (77.8 percent), while the Knights attempted just 19 free throws while hitting 10 (52.6 percent). The Nittany Lions doubled-up Berkeley in points off turnovers, as Penn State Beaver netted 22 points off Knights miscues compared to Berkeley’s 11 in that category. The Nittany Lions dished 12 assists to Berkeley’s nine, while the Knights held a slight 42-37 edge on the glass.

Keep it posted to Berkeley College’s athletics website - http://berkeleycollege.edu/athletics/ - for all of the latest 2014 USCAA National Basketball Tournament information.