Published Date Written by Adam Clay
The Penn State Harrisburg men’s basketball team fought through the wintery conditions to play its final game of the season against Christopher Newport on Saturday Feb. 21 in Middletown. Seniors Alberto De Los Santos and Joey Farthing both had strong performances in what was the final game of their collegiate careers.
Christopher Newport won, 66-56, and heads to the Capital Athletic Conference playoffs. Penn State Harrisburg (3-22, 3-15 in the conference) finished in last place.
The Captains (18-7, 13-5) pounced early, taking a 9-2 lead right from the start, but Penn State Harrisburg was prepared for the challenge and responded by scoring seven straight to tie the game, 9-9, with 14:11 to play in the first.
Neither team made any headway, and the score was tied, 28-28, at halftime.
Christopher Newport went on a 6-0 run to open the second half in an attempt to run away early. But the Lions rallied with a run of their own to tie the game again, this time 36-36 just five minutes into the second half.
The two teams exchanged blows for the next five minutes of play, with both teams looking for the knockout punch.
Christopher Newport took the lead at the 11:16 mark and kept it the rest of the game.
The Lions did all they could to pull off some late-game heroics but came up short and allowed the Captains to pull away late.
De Los Santos went out with a bang on Senior Day, leading all scorers with 25 points. Anthony Morgan, the Lions' big man, controlled the paint for the Blue & White, scoring 11 points and pulling down seven rebounds in the season finale.
Farthing finished his college career scoring 9 points and collecting seven rebounds in the defeat.
Penn State Harrisburg’s work rate and attitude, combined with a strong recruiting class, has the Lion faithful excited about the future of the young program.
The Lions came into their game against Wesley on Wednesday, Feb. 18 in Middletown knowing the playoffs were out of reach. That would not stop Penn State Harrisburg from putting together one of their best home performances of the season.
Still, Wesley (12-13, 10-8) clinched a conference playoff spot with the win.
As the game tipped off, the Lions' Arick Sodini wasted no time scoring the first two points of the game. Both teams then battled point-for-point, and neither team could hold a lead for long through the entire first half. Penn State Harrisburg led at halftime, 35-31.
As the second half started, the game remained as tight as it had in the first, although the pace definitely slowed down – there were a combined 46 fouls between the two teams.
Either team could have pulled out the win in the end, but Wesley won the foul shot game in the final minutes and hit a big three-point shot every time it was called for.
Sodini led the Blue & White with 16 points. De Los Santos scored 15, including 7-for-7 from the free throw line, while Morgan led the team in rebounds with nine as well as adding 11 points.