Penn College basketball teams earn UE wins

Published 01.15.2023

Wildcat Weekly

Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s and women’s basketball teams each posted their first United East wins, while its wrestlers got a taste of competition against some of the best in NCAA Division III.

Men’s basketball
After leading by as many as 19 points near the midway point in the second half, the Wildcats held off a late charge by Penn State Berks that narrowed the gap to two points with 15 seconds remaining in an 83-79 home win on Wednesday. Berks was forced to foul down the stretch and Penn College was up to the task as it connected on 9 of 12 foul shots over the final 2:05.

Gavin Barrett, of Roselle, New Jersey, led the Wildcats with 22 points and seven assists, while Alec Cooper, of Huntingdon, scored 20 points.

At home again on Saturday in UE play against SUNY Morrisville, Penn College lost, 79-78, to go to 1-3 in the conference and 6-7 overall.

The Wildcats built a 38-26 halftime lead before Morrisville tied the game at 51 with 8:52 remaining. There were ties at 53 and 67-all when Penn College turnovers allowed the visitors to take a six-point lead and hang on for their win.

Cross Livingston, a 6-foot, 5-inch freshman from Union, New Jersey, saw 17 minutes of action in his third game since joining the team this month and led the Wildcats with 22 points, while Max Jackowsky, of Garnet Valley, had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Barrett had a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists.

Women’s basketball
Playing tough down the stretch, Penn College edged Penn State Berks, 51-49, on Wednesday.

With the score tied at 49-all and three seconds showing on the clock, Wildcat Lexi Troup, of Huntingdon, drove to the hoop and scored on a layup to secure the win, snapping her team’s eight-game loss string.

Rachel Teats, of Middleburg, finished with a game-high 18 points for Penn College.

Hosting conference-unbeaten SUNY Morrisville in UE action on Saturday, Penn College dropped a 64-49 decision to go to 1-3 in the UE and 2-11 overall.

After a tightly played first quarter, Morrisville went on a 30-8 run to open a 36-15 halftime lead and then extended its margin to 29 points at 46-17 in the third quarter. In the fourth frame, Morrisville was ahead by 26 (64-38) before the Wildcats scored the game’s last 11 points to narrow the gap at the end.

Kayleigh Miller, of Sayre, topped Penn College with 18 points.

Competing for their first time in the prestigious Budd Whitehill National Duals at Lycoming College on Friday and Saturday, the Wildcats went 0-5 and finished last in a 16-team field.

On the opening day of the tournament’s 34th edition, considered one of the premier events in D-III, Penn College went 0-3 with losses to third-seeded Ohio Northern University (ranked 13th in D-III), 46-0; Springfield College, 36-6; and Lycoming College, 47-3. That put it into a consolation bracket for 13th-16th place with teams from SUNY Oswego, Wilkes University and Ferrum College.

The lone individual Wildcat winners on Friday were Gabriel Kennedy-Citeroni, of Blairsville, with a fall in the 197-pound weight class in his bout against a Springfield wrestler, and Noah Hunt, of Muncy, with a win by decision at 141 against a Lycoming grappler.

In Saturday’s consolation bracket semifinal match, Penn College lost to SUNY Oswego, 27-18, with Ryan Berstler, of Middletown, at 125; Hunt at 141; Cullen Van Rooyen, of Dresden, Ohio, at 165; and Billy Bumbarger, of Morrisdale, at 285 earning wins. Bumbarger and Hunt had pins.

Wrapping up the tourney against Ferrum College later Saturday, the Wildcats fell, 27-21. Winning competitive bouts for Penn College were Berstler, Hunt and Van Rooyen, with Van Rooyen and Hunt recording falls.

Wisconsin-Eau Claire, seeded second in the tournament and eighth among D-III schools, knocked off top-seeded Stevens College, ranked sixth nationally, 23-13, for the championship, while Ithaca College, seeded fourth and ranked 21st in D-III, upended third seed Ohio Northern, ranked 13th nationally, 27-14, for third place.

Wildcats coach Pankil Chander commented afterward, “To put in perspective of the quality and depth of competition in this event, the sixth-ranked team in the country and another top 15 team were defeated for the first time this season. Overall, there were over 30 wrestlers that are nationally ranked in the top 15 that competed. Five top 20 teams in the country were in the field, and we competed against two of them on day one.

“This was an incredibly deep field and the toughest event we’ve had on our schedule yet, which says a lot since we have wrestled a rigorous schedule so far. We were also the only team at this event that is in its fifth season as a (NCAA postseason-eligible) program. Most of the teams here are standing on 75-100 years of success and tradition.

“Progress is rarely linear. Adversity like this is necessary for honest self-reflection and growth. We have hit program milestones nearly every week of the season and this was still a productive one for our team to get their hands on some of the best in the country. Our young team is maturing physically, emotionally and mentally and getting a better understanding of what it takes to compete at the national level.

“We actually competed against Springfield College, the program I was on staff for a couple seasons prior to taking the helm here at Penn College. Despite the wide margin in our loss to them, our guys were in competitive battles with their squad.

“I reminded the guys that we’re training the same way a nationally competitive team like that is training. We’re talking about the same things they’re talking about on a daily basis.

“This was a great opportunity for our team to put things into perspective and realize that they’re not as far away as we think from being among the best in the nation.”

Men’s basketball
Overall: 6-7
UE: 1-3
Wednesday, Jan. 11 – host Penn State Berks (UE), W, 83-79
Saturday, Jan. 14 – host SUNY Morrisville (UE), L, 79-78
Tuesday, Jan. 17 – at Wells College (UE), 7 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 20 – host Gallaudet University (UE), 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 21 – host St. Mary’s (Md.) College (UE), 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 24 – at Penn State Abington (UE), 7 p.m.

Women’s basketball
Overall: 2-11
UE: 1-3
Wednesday, Jan. 11 – host Penn State Berks (UE), W, 51-49
Saturday, Jan. 14 – host SUNY Morrisville (UE), L, 64-49
Tuesday, Jan. 17 – at Wells College (UE), 5 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 20 – host Gallaudet University (UE), 5 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 21 – host St. Mary’s (Md.) College (UE), 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 24 – at Penn State Abington (UE), 5 p.m.

Overall: 2-7
Friday, Jan. 13 – Budd Whitehill National Duals at Lycoming College vs. Ohio Northern University, L, 46-0; vs. Springfield College, L, 36-6; vs. Lycoming College, L, 47-3
Saturday, Jan. 14 – Budd Whitehill National Duals at Lycoming College vs. Oswego State, L, 27-18; vs. Ferrum College, L, 27-21
Saturday, Jan. 21 – Dr. Si Ostrach Duals at Case Western Reserve University with Thiel, Adrian, St. John Fisher and Albion, 9 a.m.
Saturday, Jan. 28 – host Penn State Mont Alto, 11 a.m.; host Rowan College South Jersey-Gloucester, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 23 – CIL Cup Series-Daytona, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 24 – CIL Formula World Championship-Oulton Park, 8 p.m.

For more about the United East, visit the conference website.

For additional information, visit the Wildcat Athletics website.

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