Penn College men reach basketball semis

Published 02.18.2024

Wildcat Athletics
Penn College Wildcats logo

The Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s basketball team made Saturday as super as it was being billed by posting its first playoff win since 2010.

As a result, the fourth-seeded Wildcats earned a shot at top-seeded Penn State Harrisburg at 5 p.m. on Monday in a United East Volt Division semifinal.

The Wildcats completed their regular season on Wednesday at Gallaudet University with an 80-61. In sweeping the season series between the two teams, it also evened their lifetime series at 8-8.

During the game, Livingston Cross, of Union, New Jersey, led Penn College with 26 points and 16 rebounds, and Gavin Barrett, of Roselle, New Jersey, scored 15 points, dished out 16 assists and pulled down 10 rebounds.

In the postseason for the first time since 2020 on Saturday, Penn College charged into Monday’s semifinal with a resounding 100-71 home win over fifth-seeded Penn State Berks.

Against Berks, the Wildcats (7-6 in all UE games and 10-15 overall) built a 16-point halftime lead and pulled away from there as Cross poured in 31 points and snared 15 rebounds, his 15th double-double of the season; Barrett came through with his sixth career double-triple with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists; Reeder Landon of Montoursville scored 20 points; and Ronn Flood Jr. of Union, New Jersey, scored 14 points. It also marked the third time this season that Cross has scored in the 30s.

Penn College outscored Berks 54-26 in the paint to post its sixth win in the last nine games. Its 10th win matched the previous single-season best under fifth-year coach Geoff Hensley set last year.

“The team was ready and focused from start to finish. I could see the look in their eyes before the game even started. They wanted this win. And they went out and played great team basketball,” Hensley said of his players.

“Barrett was the floor general and he controlled the game. Cross controlled the boards and the paint. And when we had Flood and Reeder step up offensively, with Alec Cooper’s defense, we were a complete team and tough to stop,” Hensley said.

“We knew Penn State Berks was a great 3-point shooting team, so our defensive focus was to make them take tough contested shots. And I thought we did a great job of it while holding them below their 3-point shooting average,” the coach said.

In earning the Volt Division’s No. 1 seed, Harrisburg brings records of 21-4 overall and 11-1 into Monday’s encounter, with the lone conference loss coming in its regular-season finale last Wednesday at Lancaster Bible College.

Penn College played the Lions as tough as anyone in the UE this season, although Harrisburg won both games by scores of 74-68 on Nov. 28 and 83-67 on Jan. 24. The Wildcats never have beaten Harrisburg in eight encounters, but that doesn’t mean they can’t.

“They have outstanding players and are very well coached. They’ve been in these big games the last few years, so it will be interesting to see how we can compete with them in the playoffs with everything on the line. Anybody can beat anybody on any given night,” Hensley said.

Schedule/Results/Series History
Overall record: 10-15
UE record: 7-6
Saturday, Feb. 17 — Volt Division First Round host Penn State Berks, W, 100-71
Monday, Feb. 19 — Volt Division Semifinals at Penn State Harrisburg, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 21 — Volt Division Final, TBA
Saturday, Feb. 24 — United East Championship, TBA

In the regular season finale on Wednesday at Gallaudet University, Penn College fell 69-47. Rachel Teats of Middleburg led the offense with 17 points. The Wildcats were outscored in points in the paint 36-6.

On Saturday, the season ended in the first round of the United East Volt Division playoffs after a 71-46 loss at Penn State Abington. The sixth-seeded Wildcats finish 2-11 in all conference games and 6-20 overall.

Third-seeded Abington grabbed an early lead and stretched it to 12 at 16-4 in the opening period before Penn College went on a 9-2 run over the last 4:02, with Emily Pardee of Williamsport scoring six points and Teats the other three.

The home team regained a double-digit lead midway through the second quarter and extended it to 32 points in the fourth before winning by 25.

Lexi Troup of Huntingdon ended the game with a team-high 12 points and Teats scored 11. Pardee had seven rebounds and five assists to lead in both of those categories.

The Nittany Lions scored 34 points off 28 Wildcat turnovers as a team.

Schedule/Results/Series History
Final overall record: 6-20
Final UE record: 2-11 (2-10 regular season)
Saturday, Feb. 17 — Volt Division First Round at Penn State Abington, L, 71-46

In the first Billtown Brawl between the Wildcats and Lycoming College on Saturday, Lycoming won, 38-9, to go to 4-0 in the series between the two city colleges. For the first time, action took place at the historic Community Arts Center.

Winning their bouts for Penn College were Noah Hunt of Muncy at 149 pounds, with a decision, and Liam Goodrich of Cogan Station at 165 with a fall.

Right back on the mats on Sunday at the Scranton tri-meet, Nicholai Brotzman of Marietta and TJ Martin of Honesdale went 2-0, including unranked Brotzman knocking off a ranked regional opponent, and the Wildcats split, losing to St. John Fisher, 37-9, and topping host Scranton, 44-12, for the first time after six losses.

Brotzman needed just 45 seconds to pin St. John’s Jackson Burns, who is ranked sixth at 285 pounds in the Feb. 9 National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Mideast Region, for six of Penn College’s points, and Martin, ranked seventh at 149 in the Mideast Region, accounted for the other three team points against St. John Fisher with a win by decision.

Brotzman completed his perfect day with his second fall — this one in just 28 seconds — against his Scranton opponent, and Martin won with a major decision.

Schedule/Results/Series History
Overall dual record: 9-11
Saturday, Feb. 17 — Billtown Brawl vs. Lycoming College at Community Arts Center, L, 38-9
Sunday, Feb. 18 — Scranton Tri-Meet vs. St. John Fisher, L, 37-9; vs. Scranton, W, 44-12
Saturday, Feb. 24 — host Marymount University, 3 p.m. (Penn College leads 1-0)
Friday-Saturday, March 1-2 — NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Championship at Rochester, N.Y.

After a Saturday postponement, the Wildcats began their season with a 14-3 loss at first-time foe Misericordia University on Sunday. AJ Dotson of Wilmington, Delaware, led Penn College with two goals.

Schedule/Record/Series History
Overall record: 0-1
UE record: 0-0
Sunday, Feb. 18 — at Misericordia University, L, 14-3
Wednesday, Feb. 21 — host Westminster College, 4 p.m. (Westminster leads 2-0)
Saturday, Feb. 24 — host Montclair State, 1 p.m. (Montclair leads 1-0)
Sunday, March 3 — at William Peace University, 1:30 p.m. (first-time opponent)

Last Wednesday, the Athletics Department revealed its redesigned website. The site features the same content that fans have enjoyed in the past, with more student-athlete-focused enhancements and a sleek, modern look.

(All events at Wildcat Den)
CIL Cup Series
Monday, Feb. 12 — Charlotte Roval, 16 and 20
Monday, Feb. 19 — Freedom 250, 8 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 26 — Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 8 p.m.

CIL Formula World Championship
Wednesday, Feb. 14 — Germany-Nurburgring GP, 15
Wednesday, Feb. 21 — Italy-Imola, 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 28 — Canada-Montreal, 8 p.m.

Rocket League Varsity
Overall record: 2-0
Monday, Feb. 12 — vs. Manchester University, W, 3-0 (4-2, 2-1, 4-2)
Monday, Feb. 26 — vs. Lebanon Valley College, 7 p.m.

Overwatch 2
Overall record: 2-0
Tuesday, Feb. 13 — vs. Coffeyville Community College, W, 3-0 (2-0, 2-1, 3-0)
Tuesday, Feb. 20 — vs. Highland Community College, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 27 — vs. DePaul University, 7 p.m.

Overall record: 1-1
Wednesday, Feb. 14 — vs. Minnesota State-Mankato, L, 2-0 (13-8, 13-6)
Wednesday, Feb. 21 — vs. Purdue Fort Wayne, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 28 — vs. North Dakota State, 7 p.m.

Counter Strike 2
Overall record: 1-1
Friday, Feb. 16 — vs. Nichols College, L, 2-0 (13-7, 13-2)
Friday, March 1 — vs. North Carolina State, 7 p.m.

League of Legends
Overall record: 0-0
Tuesday, March 5 — vs. TBA, 7 p.m.

For more about the United East, visit the conference website.
For additional information, visit the Wildcats Athletics website.