YOUNGWOOD, Pa. - Despite four starters in double figures, led by Dipo Olaleye's 20, the Westmoreland County Community College men's basketball was edged out by visiting Penn Highlands Saturday afternoon 83-65 in WPCC action.
The Wolfpack had a hot start to Saturday's game, as seven early points from Garrett Dhans boosted the home team to a 16-10 lead midway through the period. Penn Highlands went on a 12-2 run to take the lead, as Westmoreland went cold from the floor. A three-pointer from Luke Stein with 28 seconds left in the half brought the Wolfpack within six points, but the visitors got a trey from Matthew Forbes in the closing seconds to take a 35-26 lead into the break.
Westmoreland managed to keep the deficit around 10 through the first part of the second half, but a quick 5-0 spurt by the Black Bears took the lead to 15 and Penn Highlands controlled the game the rest of the way. Olaleye did most of his damage in the second half trying to keep the Wolfpack in the game, scoring 14 of his team-leading 20 markers after the break and the first-year guard also finished with nine rebounds and four steals before fouling out with two minutes to play.
Dhans was the next top scorer for Westmoreland, hitting for 15 and also passing out four assists. Next on the scoring list was Xavier Johnson, who came off his triple-double against Pitt-Titusville Thursday to total 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots. Hitting for 13, including three three-pointers, was Stein and Michael Yuricha had team-highs with 11 rebounds and five assists.
The Wolfpack will close out the regular season next week, starting Monday with a trip to CCAC-Boyce. Westmoreland defeated Boyce 56-55 in their first meeting Jan. 19 and the winner of Monday's game will likely earn hosting rights for the WPCC Tournament first round game, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 15th. Tip-off for Monday's game at Boyce is scheduled for 6 pm.