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Penn College Men Fall in PSUAC Title Game

The 2009-10 Wildcat men's basketball team. (Photo by Jessica L. Tobias, student photographer)The look on the faces of his players may have reflected defeat Tuesday night, but Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s basketball coach Gene Bruno didn’t see it that way.

“I can’t be more proud of their accomplishments this season. There is a lot to be proud of,”he said.

Playing on the road for the third straight day, the sixth-seeded Wildcats fell to top-seeded Penn State Beaver, 91-68, in the Penn State University Athletic Conference championship game. It was the team’s best finish ever in the conference and wrapped up a 14-14 campaign, 12-6 in PSUAC play.

The game was tied early at 4-all before Penn State Beaver, now 19-7 overall and 16-1 in the conference, got untracked and opened a 47-31 halftime lead. Sophomore Leroy Joiner of Williamsport scored 11 of his team-high 21 points during the half, including the 1,000th of his career.

Penn State Beaver maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half, although the Wildcats, using good defensive pressure, got back to within 13 with about 8 minutes to play. But that was as close as they could get.

“We just didn’t get it done,” Bruno, in his 14th season, said afterward. “But give Beaver credit, they are a good team.”

Senior Joe Simon (Renovo) scored 17 points, pushing his men’s team career record to 1,425. Junior Greg Solyak (Lancaster) added 10 points and now has 1,146 for his career. Joiner’s career total stands at 1,019.

Penn College opened tournament play Sunday at third-seededPenn StateSchuylkill and won, 87-82. On Monday night, it traveled to second-seededPenn StateWilkes-Barre and won, 69-64.

As the PSUAC champion, Penn State Beaver gets an automatic bid into the 10-team United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division II national tournament March 2-6. The Wildcats can only hope they receive an at-large berth when invitations go out Wednesday.

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