Tom Kromka scored 20 points, and Austin Dedert grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Saint Vincent past Penn State-Altoona on the road, 85-74 to open the 2017-18 men's basketball season.
The Lions held an early 6-5 lead before David Stephen scored just over four minutes into play, giving SVC a lead they would hold for the remainder of the game.
Saint Vincent's lead increased to nine after a jumper by Coy Patterson Jr at the 11:15 mark (17-8), ending an 6-point Bearcat run. Altoona cut the lead to just four, 23-19, with 7:30 to go, but a layup by Kromka, followed by a steal by Stephen and a layup by Jason Capco, doubled the lead to eight. Buckets by Dedert and Shemar Bennett ran the lead to twelve (35-23), and the Bearcats kept the lead in double figues through the rest of the first half, taking a 42-32 lead at the break.
Capco hit a three pointer to open scoring in the second half, starting a 9-2 run that increased the lead to 18 (52-34) just 90 seconds into play. At the 12:15 mark, Josh Duda hit a three to make it a 22-point advantage, 69-47.
However, the Bearcats then went cold, while the Lions offense heated up. Over the next five minutes, Penn State scored 16 straight points while keeping Saint Vincent off the board, making it a 6-point game, 69-63.
A Bearcat time out with 7:02 on the clock slowed the hosts momentum, and Stephen hit a jumper with 6:02 remaining to end the run. The Lions closed the gap to just five, 71-66, with 4:19 to go, but it was as close as they would get. A layup by Kromka and a defensive rebound by D'Amico gave SVC the ball with a 7-point lead. Patterson drew a foul and hit both shots with 3:38 left, running the lead back to nine. Dedert then took control, hitting a pair of layups that made the score 79-66, and the Lions were unable to fight back.
Joining Kromka in double figures were Patterson, D'Amico and Dedert, each with 12 points. Stephen had four steals, while Patterson added three. Dedert blocked three shots to go along with his game-high in rebounds. All 20 of Kromka's points came from the floor, as he was 10-17 shooting.
For Altoona, Dequan Jackson led all scorers with 27 points, while Ishimeal Nance had 20.
The Bearcats return to action this Saturday night, November 18, hosting Hiram College at 7PM in a non-conference game.
Men's basketball opens 2017-18 season with win over Altoona
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Nov 15, 2017