Knights can't capitalize on fast start as Berkeley College (NJ) men's basketball team's National title push ends with 91-86 loss to Penn State York

The No. 7 seeded Berkeley College (NJ) men’s basketball team fought valiantly, but ultimately fell in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 USCAA National Basketball Tournament, losing to the No. 2 seeded Nittany Lions of Penn State York by a score of 91-86 Thursday afternoon at the Main Arena in Uniontown, PA.

Things looked promising for the Knights in the first half, as Berkeley opened up a 16-point first half lead – 44-28 – with 3:47 remaining in the opening stanza. A 12-3 run by Penn State York cut the Knights’ lead to seven points at 47-40, but a layup by freshman center Vince Richmond at the buzzer gave the Knights a 49-40 edge as the teams entered the locker room at halftime.

The Nittany Lions completed their comeback and took the lead for good when freshman guard Lucas Jewell would hit a jumper to put Penn State York up 58-56 with 14:31 left. From there, the Nittany Lions would go up by as many as 10 points, and Penn State York led by as many as seven – 87-80 – with just under a minute remaining in the game. Berkeley – however – continued to battle. A layup by sophomore guard Dukens Germain was followed by a turnover by Jewell. The Knights inbounded the ball to junior forward Carl O’Neil who dropped in a layup to pull his team to within three points with 45 seconds left.

Five seconds later, Nittany Lions junior guard Tyler Martin would turn the ball over, and junior guard Josh Jamison would commit a foul, hacking O’Neil. That would send O’Neil to the line for a one-and-one opportunity, but he would misfire on the attempt. From there, Penn State York would connect on all eight of their free throw attempts, eventually hanging on to win the game by six points.

Despite the loss for the Knights, Germain led the way for Berkeley, scoring a team-high 20 points to go along with seven rebounds and four steals. O’Neil added 17 points and seven rebounds, and sophomore guard Hassan Abdullah scored 12 points off of the bench.

In the win for Penn State York, the Nittany Lions were led by Jewell, as he scored a game-high 22 points off of the bench. He also added seven assists and three rebounds as well. Martin finalized his afternoon with 21 points a game-high nine assists, and Jamison connected on nine of his 12 shots and finished with 19 points.

The Nittany Lions shot 75 percent from the floor in the second half (21-28), while connecting on 57.4 percent of their attempts for the game (35-61). On the flip side, Berkeley College hit on 34 of their 75 shots (45.3 percent). The teams each pulled down 39 rebounds apiece, and Penn State York dished 21 assists to the Knights’ 12.

With the loss, the Knights dropped to 18-11 on the season, and will finalize their 2013-2014 campaign tomorrow with a game against Central Penn College at 10:00am. Penn State York advances to the semifinal round of the tournament, where they will battle No. 6 seeded Andrews University at 3:00pm.