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Mountain Cats Too Much to Overcome in Men’s Basketball Overtime Loss

November 26th, 2023 by WCBC Radio

 Frostburg State Men's Basketball team came up just short in their pursuit of a second consecutive victory, losing 86-81 to Pitt-Johnstown in overtime on Saturday afternoon.
FSU's offense was ice cold to start the game, missing their first five shots and having to wait four minutes for senior Jaylon Johnson to get them on the board, down 11-2. Another two and a half minutes went by before freshman Logan Lewis got a lay-in to go in the lane, followed by classmate Zane McCarty getting a steal and hitting a three, then junior Robby Williams found the former open from deep to get within 15-12.
Inside the final nine minutes of the half, junior Sebastian Gahse scored a quick layup, with McCarty and Williams adding treys either side of a coast-to-coast bucket from junior JayShaun Freeman, as the Bobcats took their first lead at 24-22. UPJ countered with back-to-back baskets, the latter being an and-one to go up by three. Each side traded scores the rest of the way, with Williams hitting again from downtown and freshman Koby Baptiste putting home an offensive rebound, as the Mountain Cats took a 34-32 lead into the half.
Pitt-Johnstown scored in the first nine seconds of the second half, with Williams answering on a three, but that would be the only field goal for Frostburg in the first four and a half minutes, as UPJ ran their lead up to 42-35. Gahse and Lewis both earned trips to the charity stripe, making all four of their attempts, with the latter also getting a put-back layup to go, bringing the deficit to one at 42-41.
The Mountain Cats made a pair of triples either side of a deep make from McCarty, then FSU scored the next four buckets on makes from Gahse, Freeman, McCarty, and sophomore Dylan Long to lead 52-48. Pitt-Johnstown responded by scoring the next seven, but junior Cole Harshman stopped the run with a lay-in, followed by a Williams three to tie the game 57-57 with five to go.
UPJ made back-to-back shots to go up four, with yet another Williams hit from range keeping the Bobcats in touching distance. A free throw battle took over the game late on, with the Mountain Cats making all four of their attempts, as Frostburg could only manage three of four, trailing by two with 12 seconds left. As Pitt-Johnstown tried to run down the clock, McCarty swiped the ball and scored at the other end, tying the game 65-65 with six seconds left to take the contest to overtime.
McCarty hit FSU's first basket of the extra period, but fouls against the Bobcat defense, combined with a pair of Mountain Cat layups, left Frostburg with a 76-67 deficit just over two minutes in. Eventually trailing 80-70 with a minute left on the clock, Lewis gave FSU some hope, taking advantage of an old-fashioned three-point play, then Williams connected on a triple and made a pair at the line to pull all the way within 82-78. Pitt-Johnstown maintained their composure at the line, making their last four free throws, as a late McCarty three wasn't enough in the end, with the final being 86-81 Mountain Cats.
Williams and McCarty led the offense, each putting in a game-high 20 points, with the latter setting a new career-high, as the pair combined for 10 threes. Gahse earned his first career double-double, putting up 12 points to go with 11 boards, with Freeman grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds in the effort.
With the loss, Frostburg falls to 1-5, while UPJ improves to 2-2 on the year. The Bobcats return to play on Sunday, November 26 to face hosts IUP in the final game of the IRMC Thanksgiving Classic at 5 p.m. Information and updates will be posted to