By Jacob Cain
Middletown, PA- The Penn State Harrisburg men’s basketball team was unable to put up much of a fight on Wednesday night, falling to the Wesley Wolverines by a score of 77-58 on their home court at the Capital Union Building.
The game was a back-and-forth affair early, and the teams were tied at six with just under sixteen minutes to go. Sophomore point guard Davis Luethke hit a three-pointer to give Penn State a 9-8 lead. Wesley was then able to create some separation from the Lions and was ahead 20-13 with 10:39 remaining in the first half. This forced Penn State to call a timeout. The Lions could not get anything going offensively out of the timeout, and they called another one less than two minutes later down 26-13. Sophomore forward Khalil Williams finally broke the scoring drought with a layup at the 6:30 mark. Williams provided an offensive spark on an otherwise tough night for the Lions.
With 3:52 still to play in the half, Don Friday Sr., the Penn State head coach, was unable to keep his emotions in check and picked up a technical foul. He would continue to voice his frustration with the officiating crew for the remainder of the night. After the free throws that resulted from the technical, Wesley had a commanding 40-17 lead. The Lions became inspired late in the half, showing energy that hadn’t been seen all night. The team would end the half on an 11-5 run, going into halftime down just seventeen. The crowd was positive going into halftime.
That Lion spark would unfortunately not last very long, and Wesley jumped ahead 53-32 early in the second half. Penn State struggled to get within fifteen points for the entirety of the second half. The crowd did not give up and continued to support the team throughout the game, providing a much needed energy. Khalil White continued to be a good offensive contributor for Penn State. By the time the final buzzer sounded, Wesley won 77-58.
What makes this loss especially difficult for the Lions is that it knocks them out of playoff contention in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC). They have now lost four games in a row. They drop to 5-6 on their home court and 9-15 overall. Their conference record is now 6-11. They will finish up their season on Saturday at home against Marymount (VA) at 3:00 PM in the Capital Union Building. The team encourages all students to come out and support them.