Penn State York men's basketball team falls in USCAA Division II Tournament semifinals

Penn State York's Anthony Bennett, Jr., shown here in a game earlier this season, scored 17 points in the local Lions' semifinal loss to Johnson & Wales. DISPATCH FILE PHOTO
  • Penn State York's playoff run came to an end on Tuesday.
  • The local Lions lost 77-65 to Johnson & Wales in the semifinals of the USCAA Division II Tournament.
  • Northeastern graduate Derrick Hoffman led PSY with 18 points.

The Penn State York men's basketball team's playoff run came to an end on Tuesday.

The local Lions had won five straight playoff games by fewer than 10 points, but they couldn't continue the streak in a 77-65 loss to Johnson & Wales in the semifinals of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Tournament. 

PSY ends its season, in which the Lions won the Penn State University Athletic Conference Tournament and won two games in the USCAA D-II Tournament, with a 22-9 record.

Playoff run: Prior to the loss to Johnson & Wales, PSY was on a five-game winning streak.

The local Lions defeated Penn State Brandywine, Penn State Mont Alto, Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Central Penn and Berkeley, which was the four-time defending USCAA champion. The first three victories were in the PSUAC Tournament, while the final two were in the USCAA D-II Tournament.

All five wins were close games, with the average margin of victory at 3.2 points. PSY defeated Brandywine by four points, Mont Alto by eight, Wilkes-Barre by one in overtime, Central Penn by one and Berkeley by two. 

Loss to Johnson & Wales: The No. 9-seeded Lions played their third game in as many days at the tournament held in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. 

PSY came out hot against No. 5 seed Johnson & Wales to lead 35-28 at halftime. The Lions trailed 22-15 midway through the first half but ended the half on a 20-6 run.

Johnson & Wales responded to start the second half, going on a 26-7 run of its own to take a 12-point lead with about 11 minutes remaining. 

PSY's John Gillespie made a layup with about seven minutes left in the game to put the local Lions down five points, but that was the closest they would get as Johnson & Wales pulled away for the double-digit triumph.

Top scorers: Northeastern graduate Derrick Hoffman led the Lions with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked four shots in the loss. 

Anthony Bennett Jr. scored 17 points off the bench for PSY. Northeastern alumnus Michael Coleman chipped in with six points and five rebounds.

Johnson & Wales was led by Kajuan Madden-McAfee's 23 points. Majerle Poole scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Phillip Gill Jr. and Robert Hobson also scored in double digits with 14 and 10 points, respectively.

Senior class: The Lions have three seniors on this year's squad: Hoffman, Bennett Jr. and Luton. 

Bennett Jr. led the Lions with 12.8 points per game, while Luton followed with 11.4. Hoffman, who came up big in most of PSY's playoff games, scored 9.2 points per game this season.