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Former St.E's Standout Mike Piekarski hits Game Winner for Immaculata


                                                                Mike Piekarski

                                    (St.Elizabeth HS)


      ABINGTON, Pa. - Andre Allen's steal and score in the final seconds of regulation erased a six-point deficit in the final 1:16 to send the Immaculata University men's basketball team to overtime at Penn State Abington Tuesday night, allowing Mike Piekarski (St.Elizabeth) to hit the game-winning jumper with three seconds remaining to send the Macs past the Nittany Lions, 80-79. Piekarski's game-winner accounted for two of his game-high 22 points on the night to go along with Allen's 16 off the bench on 6-of-7 shooting, including a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.

Asa Kitchen recorded 11 points and a game-high four steals in his 35 minutes off the bench, while Brandon McCullough pitched in 13 points of his own in the Macs' second-straight victory.

-The Macs and Nittany Lions were locked into a back-and-forth battle from the onset of Tuesday night's matchup, as neither side was able to stretch a lead beyond a two-possession game early. Penn St. Abington put together a 9-2 run to take a game-high seven-point lead at the 13:47 mark of the first half, but the Macs fought back over the final ten minutes to secure a 33-30 lead heading into halftime.
-The Nittany Lions erased the halftime deficit and regained a one-point lead just three minutes into the second half and went up by five shortly after. The Macs strung together three-straight successful possessions to knot the game at 44 with 11:36 remaining, thanks to field goals from Allen, Kitchen and Cordell Lord.
-IU netted just ten points over the next seven-plus minutes, allowing the Nittany Lions to cling to a six-point lead with under five left in regulation. A Mike Piekarski(St.E's) three-ball cut the deficit to a manageable three points, but the Macs still found themselves down six with 1:51 left after a cold shooting stretch from the field.
-With 1:06 left on the game clock, McCullough drained a three, and following a pair of good free throws from the Lions, Allen sunk a trey to make it a two-point game with 25 seconds remaining.
-Following an Abington timeout, Allen picked the ball from Devin Hall and took it all the way to the rim for the game-tying lay-in with 11 seconds left to send the game to overtime tied at 69.
-The Macs answered every Nittany Lion bucket in the overtime period, as Kitchen drained a game-tying three with just over a minute left before Kristopher Bobo answered the Lions' tie-breaking field goal with a go-ahead three with 46 seconds left to push IU ahead, 78-77.
-Abington's Devin Hill was sent to the line with nine ticks left on the clock - and converted on both free throws - to give the hosts a one-point lead, forcing the Macs to use a timeout to draw up one last play. Piekarski took the inbounds pass and got off one last shot with three seconds left, draining the attempt to lift the Macs to the 80-79 victory.

-Points:Mike Piekarski 22, Allen 16, McCullough 13, Kitchen 11
-Rebounds: Mike Piekarski 7, Kitchen 6, McCullough 4
-Assists: Mike Piekarski/Kitchen 5
-Steals: Kitchen 4

Immaculata (2-2) travels to Arcadia Friday night for a non-conference matchup. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Glenside.


Photo and story courtesy of Immaculata Athletics

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