YOUNGWOOD, Pa. - Forward Xavier Johnson recorded a triple-double and Garrett Dhans fired in 22 points, but the Westmoreland County Community College men's basketball team's gritty effort came up just short in a 94-77 loss to visiting Pitt-Titusville Thursday night.
Johnson spearheaded the Wolfpack effort in the opening half, as he buried three treys and rifled in 15 points before the break, while Luke Stein canned a pair of three-pointers as he scored 10 in the first half. Westmoreland led by as many as six, but Titusville recovered and used a three-pointer by Hysheem Robinson just before the buzzer to take a 40-37 lead into intermission.
Titusville scored the opening bucket of the second half, but that was answered by a 10-2 Westmoreland run, inclduing two baskets by Aron Whatule, the second of which gave the home team a 47-44 lead with 16 minutes left in the game. The teams battled back and forth over the next few minutes and when Michael Yuricha swished a three-pointer with 9:20 to play, the score was knotted at 60-60.
The tie was short-lived as Titusville's George Sydnor knocked down a trey the next possession and the visitors had the lead for good. Despite the loss, the Wolfpack had several outstanding performances, led by Johnson. The 6-3 forward finished with 23 markers, hauled down 11 rebounds and passed out 10 assists to post the triple-double. The assist total was a season-high and the 23 points was his most since scoring 29 against Hocking on Nov. 11th.
Dhans also had a big game, notching 22 points while adding seven assists and four steals. Stein's big first half propelled him to 14 points, while Yuricha recorded his fifth doubole-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Whatule also set a season-high with six points in the game.
The Wolfpack will be back on the floor Saturday afternoon when they host Penn Highlands in a 12:30 pm tip-off.