MONT ALTO, Pa. – Penn State Mont Alto went on an 18-4 run late in the first half to take a seven-point lead en route to a 65-62 victory over McDaniel in non-conference men's basketball action on Saturday.
Phillip Perry (Crownsville, Md./Annapolis Area Christian) led the Green Terror (7-4) with a career-best 19 points while Andrew Merlo (Rehoboth, Del./Cape Henlopen) added 13 points, including a 10-for-12 showing from the free-throw line.
Jamaal Carter led three players in double figures for the Lions (12-0) with 13 points. Jerome Evans added 12 points and nine rebounds while Corey Meyers added 10 points.
After a slow start by both teams, Anthony Morgan (York, Pa./New Hope Academy Charter) hit a layup with 11:19 to play in the first half to give the visitors an 8-6 advantage.
Merlo canned a triple a minute later to extend the lead to 11-7, starting a 9-3 burst that gave McDaniel a 17-10 advantage with 6:05 showing.
A Meyers 3-pointer 48 seconds later started the game-changing run for Penn State-Mont Alto. Meyers tallied all 10 of his points during the stretch.
Duane Echols (Jessup, Md./Hammond) hit a 3-pointer just before the first-half buzzer to make it a 28-24 game at the intermission.
Layups from Echols and Tim Stewart (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) in the first two minutes of the second half evented the game before the Lions countered with six straight.
A Stewart three-point play gave the Green Terror a 39-37 advantage with 10:33 showing but Sharif Welton countered with a layup of his own to spark an 11-0 run that put Penn State Mont Alto in front 39-48 just three minutes later.
Clinging to a 59-52 advantage on two Bobby Ingram free throws with 47.4 seconds left, Perry scored three straight points to close the deficit to four with 37.8 seconds on the clock.
Ingram extended the lead to 60-55 on the second of two free throws a second later before Merlo was fouled shooting a 3-pointer at the other end.
He hit two of his three attempts to close the deficit to three with 17.6 seconds left.
Three Carter free throws pushed the lead back to six with 9.8 seconds left before Merlo made things really interesting.
A Lions player fouled Merlo on another 3-point attempt for his fifth foul. While Merlo made his first shot, the player was still on the floor and a technical was issued.
Merlo canned both free throws for the technical then made the last two of his three-shot free throws to made it a one-point game.
Two more Ingram free throws with 4.1 seconds left pushed the lead back to three.
A turnover and travel gave McDaniel one last chance with 0.4 seconds on the clock but the game-tying attempt bounced off the back iron.
Stewart added seven points and seven rebounds.
The Green Terror returns to Centennial Conference action at home against Muhlenberg on Wednesday. Game time is 8 p.m.