By: Matylda Zamudio
MONACA, Pa.––The Penn State Beaver men's basketball team lost to PSUAC rival Penn State Fayette at home Tuesday, 55-44.
Junior guard Keon Butler (Annapolis/Star Severn School) led Beaver in scoring with 19 points, one rebound and one block. Senior guard John Foster (Austin/Del Valle) finished with 7 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists. Freshman guard Alexander Avery (Stafford/Brooke Point) also finished with 7 points, two rebounds and two steals.
1st half: Butler got the offense going as he drilled a jumper from downtown and followed it up with a layup only one minute into the game to take a 5-0 lead against Fayette. But Fayette answered back with 8-straight points to take the lead away from the Lions at 14:18 (8-5). However, Butler hit another 3-point jumper two minutes later to give Beaver a 2-point edge (10-8). Beaver led by 1 at halftime (24-23). At 9:29, Avery drilled a 3-pointer of his own to put the Lions up by 4 (15-11). However, Fayette tied it at 17-17 and then again at 19-19 before pulling ahead 23-19 at 2:11. But at 1:07, Foster scored a late layup and was then fouled after getting a defensive board on a missed layup by Fayette to sink two free-throws and tie the game at 23-23. With only 20 seconds left in the first, Foster made one of his two awarded free-throws to give Beaver a 1-point edge at halftime (24-23).
2nd half: Fayette opened the second by scoring four back-to-back shots from behind the arc to put Beaver behind by 9 (35-26), but Butler answered with a 3-pointer of his own to cut it to 37-34 at 13:17. But a 7-0 run by Fayette midway through the second built the deficit to 10 points for the Lions and while they kept the game within 7-10 points for most of the remaining portion of the half, they weren't able to get over the hump and ultimately fell 55-44.
Box Score Highlights: Beaver shot 72.7 percent from the free-throw line. Beaver outscored Fayette 22-20 on points in the paint and 18-4 on points off turnovers. Beaver recorded 10 fewer turnovers than the victors (4-14).
The Lions fall to 3-3 record overall and 2-2 in the PSUAC standings. Beaver will travel to Penn State Mont Alto for more PSUAC conference action this Friday, Dec. 6. The game is slated for 8 p.m.