RELEASE DATE: 3/03/09
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Mansfield’s upset-bid falls short in 97-86 PSAC Playoff loss at #21 Kutztown
KUTZTOWN – Stephen Dennis scored a game-high 31 points and Kutztown held off a Mansfield rally in the final 100 seconds to record a 97-86 win in a PSAC Quarterfinal game at Keystone Hall Tuesday night.
“We knew we had to score a lot of points to win,” said head coach Rich Miller. “And we did that, but we don’t get the stops we needed on defense when we needed them. Kutztown has a great team and there is no shame in losing to them on their own court. Our guys played hard tonight.”
“Nobody’s beaten them here this year but we played them as tough as anybody. Stephen Dennis is such a great player for them and always has the ball in his hands. He certainly was a difference maker tonight but I’m tremendously proud of our players and the character of this team.”
Mansfield, the #4 seed, played an inspired game batting the PSAC #1 seed on their home court almost even for most of the game.
Although the game featured runs by each team, it was a Kutztown run midway through the second half along with Kutztown free throws that determined the outcome of the game.
After trailing 33-22 with 6:27 to play in the first half, Mansfield rallied behind Ryan Callahan and Yuseff Carr who combined for 20 of Mansfield first half points, to tie the score at 37-37 just before halftime. Kutztown made the final basketball of the half to take a 39-37 into the locker room.
Mansfield took the lead 44-41 on a Callahan layup two minutes into the second half and the score remained tight with Kutztown holding a 57-54 lead after Mansfield’s Cory Boone hit a layup with just over 13 minutes to go.
Kutztown used a 9-0 run over the next two minutes to extend the lead to 66-54 with 11:45 to play. The Golden Bears maintained a double-digit advantage using the free throw line until Mansfield made one last final run in the final two minutes of the game.
Trailing 87-77 with 2:22 remaining, Mansfield cut the lead to 87-82 on a layup by Chris Greene a minute later but could pull no closer.
Kutztown won the game on the free throw line hitting 33-41 attempts to Mansfield’s 16-20.
Callahan had one of his best games of the season scoring 27 points, including 22 of Mansfield’s first 52 points in the game, while pulling down five rebounds. He also had three assists and three steals. Carr just missed a double-double with 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Chris Pender added 10 points.
Dennis topped four Kutztown players in double figures with 31 points hitting 11-17 from the floor and 8-11 of his free throws. Dave Ben scored 21 points with six assists whle Ryan Washington added 19 points and Andre Woodlin 17.
Mansfield ends the season with a 15-12 overall record and returns all but senior Chris Greene, who scored nine points, next season.