ALTOONA, Pa. — Coming off consecutive lopsided defeats to begin the season, Goucher was much more competitive in its road matchup at Penn St. Altoona tonight.
Missed layups and poor free throw shooting, however, prevented the Gophers from breaking into the win column, and the Lions ultimately never trailed in a 73-65 home victory.
Goucher (0-3) posted its best defensive outing of the young season, but shot only 35.7 percent from the field and made only 10 of its 19 attempts from the charity stripe. Tre Galloway III (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch) led the team in scoring for a second-straight outing, finishing with 16 points while also chipping in five rebounds and five assists.
Penn St. Altoona (2-1) started strong, racing out to an early 24-14 lead while making 48.6 of their field goal attempts in the first half. The Gophers responded with a 9-3 run, led by a pair of 3-pointers from Brian Ball (Rockville, Md./Rockville), to get back in the game, and the deficit was down to 29-28 after a 3-point play from Ball with 5:21 to go.
Goucher came within a point of the Lions on two other occasions in the opening 20 minutes, but were never able to get completely level, and Penn St. Altoona took a 44-40 advantage into the intermission.
The Lions again controlled the play early on in the second half, grabbing their largest lead of 56-44 after a layup from Dylan Leazier with 14:44 to play.
The lead was still 62-52 with under eight minutes remaining, but a layup from Brian Morton II (Ellicott City, Md./Mount St. Joseph), a 3-pointer from Kevin Miles (District Heights, Md./Gwynn Park) and two free throws from Jordan Young (Washington, D.C./McLean School of Maryland) narrowed that advantage to 62-59 with 5:50 to go.
The Gophers would not get any closer. After a key 3-pointer from Javon Wilson doubled its advantage, Penn St. Altoona used several extended possessions to help shorten the game, and Goucher was unable to get its offense on track, shooting under 30 percent from the floor in the second half.
Chris Outing (New Windsor, N.Y./James I. O'Neill) totaled 10 points and eight rebounds for the Gophers, while Miles, Ball and Jesse Mondry (Medford, Ore./South Medford) each had nine points and Young grabbed a team-high nine boards.
Evan Greening tallied 16 points on 8 of 12 shooting to lead the Lions, who have now won each of the two lifetime meetings between the schools. Goucher dropped an 88-84 decision at the Decker Sports & Recreation Center when the two teams squared off last November.
The Gophers return to the court this Saturday, when they will take on Ferrum in a 7 p.m. home matchup.