Lemont Furnace, PA - The Penn State Fayette men's basketball team closed out the 2019-20 season Friday night with a 68-67 win over Penn State Beaver.
"After settling early, we were able to swing the game once we started attacking inside and played through the paint," said first-year head coach Marcus Thomas. "We struggled again defensively, especially against the three-point line and made some other mistakes, but we were able to grind it out."
After falling behind by nine with five minutes to go in the first half of the Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) game, Fayette cut the Beaver lead to 30-28 at the half.
Fayette opened up a nine-point lead of its own with 9:33 to play and held on for the win.
For the game, Fayette (10-15 overall, 8-11 PSUAC) only shot 37% (25-67) from the field and 35% (7-20) from three-point distance. Beaver (13-12, 10-9) shot 44% (26-59) for the game and 43% (12-28) from beyond the arc.
Tavian Mozie (McClellandtown, PA/Albert Gallatin HS) led the way for Fayette with 18 points while Josh Hankins (Phoenix, AZ/Pinnacle HS) also hit double figures with 11 points.
Fayette capitalized on a 27-8 advantage in bench scoring with Trevor Laskody (Morgantown, WV/Trinity Christian HS) and Justin Craigg (Newark, DE/Newark HS) combining for 19 points off of the bench as the former scored 10 and the latter had nine.
Beaver's Keon Butler led all scorers with 25 points.
Fayette will return everyone next season except senior Tray Matthews (Cole Center, PA/California HS) and Thomas spoke about him.
"We are grateful for Tray and everything he has given the program over the years," he said. "We are happy to send him out on a good note and wish him the best."
After the game, Fayette Director of Athletics Lou Zadecky spoke about the job that Thomas and his staff have done and shared his excitement for the future.
"I am just very pleased with the new coaching staff and how they grew in their first season," he said. "I am pleased with how the players worked hard, grew and competed under the new system. It looks like there will be a lot of bright things to come in the future."
Thomas also spoke about the what is on the horizon.
"I am proud of these guys," he said. "They were a joy to coach all season long and I wouldn't want to coach any other group. I know our season is ending earlier that we wanted but we have a bright future and I am excited about what's to come at Penn State Fayette."
For more information on the men's basketball team, go to https://www.psfathletics.com/sports/mbkb/index or follow us on Instagram @fayetteathletics.