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Behrend AMCC, ECAC and NCAA
Vol. XLVII No. 22
An era ends as Lions advance in NCAA Tournament
by Matt Buser
It's official. There will never he
another intercollegiate basketball
game played in Erie Hall.
Thursday night's 64-60 win over
Alvernia College was the final game
in Erie Hall's storied history, and it
was a game those in attendance will
not soon forget. Rehrend opened up
a sizeable lead on Alvernia, who
battled hack, but ultimately fell to the
Alvernia brought an 18-9 record to
the contest, and had won the
Pennsylvania Athletic Conference
Tournament to earn the spot in the
game. Behrend's win improved their
overall record to 24-3. and added to
their school-record for wins in a
The game's early going was evenly
played. Behrend's first basket was an
Andy Lawrence three-pointer at 18:36
to make the scot t.: i-2. Pdvernia and
Behrend exchanged baskets and leads,
and at the 10:19 mark. the score was
tied, 14-14. Alvernia led by three
points with 4:36 to play. and then
Behrend got hot.
A Matt Keith three-pointer from the
left corner tied the score at 23 with
4:25 to play Then guard Andy
Berchtold made two free throws to
give Behrend the lead
at 25-23. Keith
then made a pair of unanswered
three's on Behrend's next two
possessions, and Behrend led 31-23
with 2: 12 to go. Alvernia's next two
possessions resulted in Behrend
steals, which were converted into a
Keith two-point shot and a three-point
play for Ashley Orris, respectively,
Behrend women complete season
with ECAC Tournament showing
by Jason Snyder
The Behrend women's basketball
team completed one of the program's
winningest seasons by competing in
the Eastern College Athletic Confer
ence (ECAC) Tournament after host
ing their second straight Allegheny
Mountain Collegiate Conference
(AMCC) Tournament this past week
end. The Lions made it to the AMCC
championship game for the third con
secutive season, while hosting the
event for the second straight season.
On February 25, the Behrend
women faced the La Roche Redhawks
in the opening round of the AMCC
Tournament. Despite falling behind
early, the women were able to come
back to defeat the Redhawks after a
10-point deficit at the half. Behrend
dominated the second half, outscoring
La Roche, 42-21.
Behrend coach Roz Fornari com
mented on the come from behind win,
saying, "we expended a lot of energy
and emotion to do that. I think that
affected us going into the champion
ship game. We were pretty well ex
hausted as a team."
The Lions entered the champion
ship game on Saturday, February 26,
to face Frostburg State, the only con-
The latest coverage on Behrend Basketball and the nd of an Era
SPECIAL Fri Uri() rbiq
capping the 16-0 run, and leaving
Behrend with a 36-23 lead with 1:36
remaining in the half.
But Keith wasn't done yet. After
an Alvernia basket, Keith hit a three
pointer from five feet behind the line
to make the score 39-25 with :49 to
play. Both teams failed to score on
their next possessions, and the score
remained 39-25 going into the half.
Behrend cooled off during the
second half. Alvernia outscored
Behrend 21-9 in the first twelve
minutes had reduced the Behrend lead
to 48-45 with 8:08 left in the contest.
"We've done that a lot this year,"
said Keith. "We have a tendency to
go up by 16 and then let the other team
come hack, make it an exciting game
for Erie Hall.-
"Everybody makes a run, it's
college basketball," said Lawrence.
"We knew it was going to happen. We
didn't want it to happen, but we just
tried to stay calm at the end, make our
foul shots and win the game."
A pair of Berchtold free throws and
another Keith three-pointer opened
the game back up at 55-47 with 6:43
to play. Alvernia again chipped away
at the lead, and the score was 60-58
with 1:11 remaining. Orris made two
key free throws at 1:01, but Alvernia
responded with a basket at :42 to
make the score 62-60. Behrend got a
key offensive rebound and Chris
Hughes made a clutch basket with :10
to go to give Behrend a 64-60 lead.
When Alvernia committed a
backcourt violation with :01 on the
clock, the victory was sealed.
"I'm very proud of my team," said
Behrend Head Coach Dave Niland
after the win. "We played an
ference team to defeat the Lions pre
viously in the season. The teams had
split their season series at one game
apiece. Frostburg's victory earlier in
the season was sparked by Shannon
Rexrode, the conference's player of
the year, who dropped 29 points
against the Lions.
In the championship game, the Li
ons held Rexrode under 20 points,
forcing Frostburg to make shots from
the perimeter. "We tried to take
Rexrode out of the picture. I think
we played her pretty tough, but we
didn't guard the perimeter," said
Frostburg shot 66% from the field
in the second half to pull away. "I
don't care what you do. We were
playing great defense. But you're not
going to stop a team that's just on a
roll," said Fornari. "And they were
on a roll."
Frostburg quickly extended their
lead to 17 points midway through the
second half behind their perimeter
shooting. Behrend's Kate Costanzo
slowed the Frostburg run with four 3-
pointers for 20 points.
Behrend was outscored in the sec
ond half, 44-31, to take their first con
ference championship in their history.
Fornari commented on the disap
pointing loss saying, "it was really
outstanding Alvernia team tonight."
He continued, "It took our best effort
to win the game, and I think it could
have went either way. I'm very, very
proud of my players."
Coach Niland had nothing but
compliments for the Behrend players
that contributed to the win. "I'm very
proud of Andy 'Lawrence], the way
he played tonight. Matt Keith was
outstanding. I thought Ashley Orris
handled the ball unbelievably well
against pressure, he did really well.
John Park gave us what he normally
does, intensity and rebounding. Nate
Willson, the first time he actually ran
was tonight. Everyone who sees us
play a lot knows what he gives us, he's
our middle linebacker, and I feel very
happy for him, he really wanted to
Willson was "about 40%"
according to Niland after suffering an
ankle injury in Saturday's AMCC
championship game. Chris Hughes
was in tout trouble most of the night,
and faced numerous double teams
throughout the contest, but Niland
said, "I think he played very well
under the circumstances."
Lawrence scored I 3 points on five
of eight shooting. Keith made six of
nine three-pointers and finished with
20 points. Orris scored ten, grabbed
six boards, and dished out six assists.
Willson had five rebounds and four
assists, and Hughes finished with 11
points and four rebounds.
The players were also proud of the
win. "I can't explain the feeling," said
Lawrence. "I just feel great for
Behrend, and Coach Niland has
worked so hard. We're getting the
new gym next year, and this is going
unfortunate that we lost in our cham
pionship game here. Things don't al
ways work out the way they're sup
posed to. I wanted more for our
Despite the loss, the Behrend
women still qualified for the Eastern
College Athletic Conference Tourna
ment for the second time in three
years. The women traveled to the
Skibo Gymnasium to face Carnegie
Mellon. The Lady Tartans jumped on
top early, taking a 30-19 lead into the
Behrend kept the game close
throughout the second half, cutting the
lead to single digits with only min
utes to go. Costanzo, again, sparked
the Lions' effort with 21 points. The
women still fell, 67-56, despite the
"We got ourselves into a hole that
we couldn't get out of. We came back
at the end just like we typically do.
We don't give up and that's something
I'm proud of that team for," said
The loss marked the end of a suc
cessful season for the Behrend women
who continue to make a name for
themselves in the AMCC and further
Behrend forwards Erin Phillips and
Jen O'Lare were named to the AMCC
Division 111 Tournament Coverage
Friday, March 3, 2000
PHOTO BY JEFF MILLER
The Erie Hall crowd rushes the court for the last time after the Lions won the last game ever to be played
in the facility. Behrend advances in the NCAA Division 11l Tournament with the win.
to be good for the program."
Lawrence never doubted that the
team could win. "I knew we could
do it. People looking on the outside
might not think that we could have,
but I know what we're made of."
The team doesn't have long to
celebrate, however, as they now will
travel to Rochester, New York, and
face Rochester Institute of
Technology (RIT) tomorrow,
First Team for their performance this
season. "They were what we played
around. We built our offense around
our posts. Those two were our go-to
players," commented Fornari.
Behrend senior leader Carrie Nestor
was named to the second team All-
Conference team for the third con
secutive season. Nestor doubled any
other player in both assists and steals
in the entire conference. Fornari ques
tions the decision, saying, "they
equate points with leading a team, and
it's kind of unfortunate that they look
at it that way." Fornari added, "if you
were to ask me Player of the Year in
our conference?' I would have told
you Carrie Nestor. To me, the most
valuable player is someone that you
remove from your team, and can't win
without." She added, "If I would have
pulled Carrie off our team this year,
we wouldn't have won without her.
So, to me, that's the Player of the
Tiffany Buck joined Nestor as the
team's only seniors. The duo has
started in every game in their college
careers at Behrend. Since the pair
walked into Erie Hall, the Lions have
not seen an unsuccessful season yet.
"Their dedication to our program is
just a compliment to them. They
helped us grow," realizes Fornari.
Saturday, March 4. Behrend played
at RIT during last year's, regular
season, and were beaten 64-50.
"It feels great," said Keith. "Coach
told us to keep our emotions in check,
because we owe RIT one on Saturday.
This feels great, because it's the first
time in school history, but we've got
to keep everything in check and get
ready for Saturday."
Coach Niland talked about
Senior leader Carrie Nestor looks to pass the ball in the 2000 AMCC
Championships last week. Nestor ends her career in a Lions
uniform as the all-time assists and steals leader at the College for
her career. Nestor has played, and started, in 107 straight games,
never sitting out a game for injury or anything else.
"Our seniors are going to have a lot
The future of the Lions is hampered
by the loss of Nestor and Buck but it
still looks promising With the young
A Penn State Erie Student Publication
Saturday's game. "We played RIT
last year, and they handled us pretty
well up there. But, we've got a pretty
mature group. Our seniors have been
great all year about focusing the kids.
My concern is how healthy we're
going to be."
Details of the team's NCAA
tournament results will be in the next
Beacon, which will he available the
Friday following Spring Break.
players coming up.
Despite the losses, Fornari realizes
that the way the Lions played in the
closing games "was their reward for
their hard work all seasnn "