WILKES BARRE, PA- They say that Rome wasn't built in a day, but Head Coach Andre Smith wasn't the foreman on that job either. It took the conferences best team during the regular season, to finally end Penn State Shenango's hopes for a conference championship on Friday night. In a first year season that saw freshmen consuming 82 percent of the total minutes on the season the Lions finally bowed out of championship contention by falling to Penn State Wilkes Barre, 65-40. Penn State Shenango, although falling to 15-12 on the season, are still hoping to secure an at large bid in the USCAA post season tournament. Bids will be announced on Saturday.
On Friday night, Shenango held All Conference performers Khalil White and Ameer Biddle to a collective 16 points but didn't count on Jheron Dawson-Johnson stepping up to fill the void. Dawson Johnson, a senior from Philadelphia, PA who came into the contest averaging 6.2 points per game, shot 8 of 10 from the floor, 4 of 6 from behind the arc, to total 21 points on the night. Jordan Williams also added 16 for the winning cause.
In the first half, defense was the priority with both teams struggling offensively going into intermission with a score of Shenango down 27-18. Shots came easier in the second frame but not enough for Shenango to overcome the deficit.
Penn State Shenango's All Conference duo of Gannon Murray (11 points) and Larry Ransom, Jr (7 points and 14 rebounds) led the Lions. Friday night was one of only a few games all season that Shenango was out rebounded as a team, 41-32.
Penn State Wilkes Barre now moves on to play Penn State York, who upset Mont Alto on the road Friday night 76-68 in the other semi final game, at the Bryce Jordan Center on the campus of Penn State University, on Sunday afternoon at 4:00pm.