Published Date Written by Tom Klemick
Penn State Harrisburg’s 2013-14 season came to an end on Saturday, Feb. 22 when the Lions fell to 19th-ranked Mary Washington, 82-56 in Middletown.
The visiting Eagles (20-5, 12-4 in the Capital Athletic Conference) used a ferocious first-half flurry that saw them bury nine 3-pointers to jump out to a commanding lead in the early going. The Blue & White struggled to make a dent in the deficit as the game wore on.
While Mary Washington did just about everything right, the one thing the visitors just could not do was slow down Penn State Harrisburg senior captain Will Doyle. Playing in his final collegiate contest, Doyle scored a game-high 23 points and in the process netted his 900th career point and grabbed a share of the program’s record of career 3-point field goals made (153 total).
Despite getting some good looks, the Lions (8-17, 5-11) were unable to convert on their early chances and fell behind 8-0 to begin the game. Doyle kept the Blue & White in it by knocking down back-to-back jumpers from beyond the arc before Mary Washington pushed its advantage to 21-9 thanks to a 13-3 run over a five-minute stretch. The Eagles hit three treys during the crucial stretch.
Doyle hit his third three of the game at the 6:05 mark, but the Lions had trouble slowing down the visitors’ impressive shooting output before the break. The Eagles ended the half on a 14-5 run and took a commanding 46-21 lead into halftime.
In the first half alone, Mary Washington shot an impressive 58.1 percent from the field, including 50 percent (9-18) from behind the 3-point line.
Doyle did all he could to keep his team in it. He scored 6 of the Lions’ first 10 points of the second half, including his record-tying 3-ball and a strong, old-fashioned 3-point play in the paint.
After Penn State Harrisburg cut the deficit to under 20 points, however, the Eagles made another run, this time of the 10-0 variety over a three-minute stretch, to push their advantage to 59-30 with 12:51 left to play.
The Lions’ Joshua Johnson heated up in the second half, teaming up with Doyle to knock down a pair of shots from distance and provide a spark for the home team as the game wound down.
Sophomore Rayshaun Anderson-Brown also provided some life down the stretch for the Lions, thanks to his scrappy play in the paint.
With the outcome well in hand, Doyle converted 5-6 free throws as the clock ticked away. His final collegiate attempt came from the foul line and cemented his legacy as one of Penn State Harrisburg’s all-time top scorers as he became just the fifth player in school history to reach the 900-point scoring plateau.
After sinking his final free throw, he was given a standing ovation by the hometown faithful in attendance at the Capital Union Building.
Moments later, fellow senior captain Kenny Stone was given the same well-deserved treatment from the hometown fans as he joined Doyle and the rest of his teammates on the Penn State Harrisburg sideline.
Stone grabbed two rebounds in addition to swiping a steal and blocking one Mary Washington shot attempt.
In addition to his point total, Doyle added four boards and three assists. Johnson turned in the best performance of his collegiate career as he shot with great confidence (4-4 from the field) on his way to an 11-point outing.
Anderson-Brown added 7 points, four rebounds and two blocks while Joey Farthing pitched in with 4 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
In their first year of competition in the Capital Athletic Conference, the Lions showed they belonged, fighting for a playoff spot until the final week of the season and picking up some of the best and most memorable wins in school history over 14th-ranked Christopher Newport in January and Marymount (Va.) two weeks ago.
Stone has been a member of the Penn State Harrisburg team the past three years, playing in 75 games and starting 22 of them. The Philadelphia native’s 530 career points rank him seventh on the program’s all-time scoring list and his 60 career blocks are the second-highest total in school history.
Stone’s name can be found on three more of the program’s career Top 10 lists, including rebounds, steals and field goal percentage. One of his most memorable performances came earlier this season against Bryn Athyn when he scored a career-high 27 points.
“Kenny’s leadership and love of this team has been evident since Day 1,” said Penn State Harrisburg Coach Don Friday. “He has been ready to battle every single time out. These traits combined with a Penn State diploma are going to make him a successful alum of our institution.” Doyle has proven himself to be one of the most dynamic players in Penn State Harrisburg history. He played in 76 games the past three years, starting every one of them. His 900 career points rank him fourth on the school’s all-time list, as do his 309 rebounds and 97 steals.
He knocked down 153 career 3-pointers and dished-out 298 assists; both numbers are good enough to rank him second all-time.
Earlier this season, Doyle turned in a record-breaking performance when he put up 40 points against Southern Vermont, the highest single game total since Penn State Harrisburg began NCAA play.
“Will represents everything I believe in as a coach,” said Friday. “I’m privileged to have coached him this season. He has left a footprint on our program and has set the tone for our future.”