STEUBENVILLE – The Franciscan men's basketball team battled against a tough Penn St.-Altoona team, Wednesday evening, despite losing 78-63.
After opening the game with a basket at the end of their first shot clock, JP Dombrowski gave the Barons their first lead, 2-0. The Lions pushed ahead and took the lead 9-5 with 15:47 to play in the first. Franciscan whittled away at the Altoona defense and after Joe Schriner made the free throw after he was fouled on his layup, the Barons held their second lead of the game, 11-13-11, with 13:54 to play. Sophomore Matt Trent pushed the Baron lead to four after pulling down and offensive rebound and putting the ball back up for two points. Ishimeal Nance and Trent traded layups just under a minute later before the teams' saw the game tied twice, at 20-20 and 22-22 with 5:24 to play. A pair of free throws from Nance kicked off an 11-0 run for the Lions to give the visitors a 33-22 lead with 2:41 to play. Dombrowski halted the run with a layup at 1:41 but the Lions got the last basket of the half from Austin Krise to send the game into halftime with the Lions leading 35-24.
The teams went basket for basket over the first half of the second period as neither team could get a run a going. Trent made back-to-back baskets at the 10-minute mark to cut the Lion lead down to 10, 53-43, but that would be as close the Barons could get. A free throw from Dequan Jackson kicked off a 9-3 run for the Lions to push their lead back to 17, 62-45, with 6:55 to play. Freshman Sean Hickey drained a three-pointer to keep the deficit at 14, and junior Juwan Perkins hit a jumper to get the Barons to with 12, 62-50, with 5:54 to play. The Lions and Barons went back and forth for the next three minutes until the Lions held a 15-point lead, 70-55, with 3:17 to play. Senior Keoni Sablan hit a three with 1:51 to play to make it a 12-point game, 70-58, but the Lions close out the game on an 8-5 run to seal the 78-63 victory.
Trent led the Barons with 20 points and 14 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Hickey posted 10 points for the Barons while sophomore Josh York chipped in nine points and six rebounds. The Barons shot 38.7% from the floor (24-62).
Franciscan welcomes Hilbert to Kuzma Court on Saturday for a 2pm contest. Prior to the game and throughout the afternoon, the Barons will celebrate Kuzma Community Day and honor the 60th anniversary of the 1958 National Championship team.