Bell scores game-high 34 but Mounties fall to Pitt-Johnstown
MANSFIELD - Joe Bell scored a game-high 34 points but it wouldn't be enough to overcome a hot-shooting Pitt-Johnstown team as Mansfield dropped a 91-74 decision in a PSAC crossover contest Saturday afternoon on First Citizens Community Bank Court at Decker Gymnasium.
After Mansfield led early Mansfield, Pitt-Johnstown took a 25-16 lead midway through the first half before Mansfield rallied to cut the advantage to 34-32 on a Bell jumper with just under four minutes remaining in the first half.
But Pitt-Johnstown used a 8-2 run over the remainder of the half to take a 42-34 advantage into halftime.
The Mountain Cats increased their lead to 46-34 after the first minute of the second half before Mansfield answered with a 19-5 run to take a 53-51 lead on a jumper and ensuing free throw by Charles Pemberton.
Pitt-Johnstown used the long-ball to counter, going on a 19-2 run key by five 3-pointers to what would prove to be an insurmountable 70-55 advantage with just over eight minutes to play.
Pitt-Johnstown hit 11-of-18 3-pointers including an incredible 8-11 in the second half. In comparison, Mansfield connected on just 3-of-21 three-point attempts. The Mountaineers held a 41-30 rebounding advantage.
Bell, who scored 22 points in the first half alone, tied his career-best scoring 34 points in a game for the third time (Millersville 2012, Clarion 2013). The junior went 13-22 from the floor and 8-12 from the free throw line. He also pulled down seven rebounds.
Charles Pemberton recorded his second straight double-double and third of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Ryan Krawczeniuk added 9 points.
Bill Luther, who scored his 1,000th career-point, led three Mountain Cats in double-figures with 22 points.
Mansfield will take a holiday break before returning to Decker Gymnasium on Jan. 3 to host IUP.