Men’s basketball on a hot streak with end of fall semester approaching


Patrick McGinnis, Sports Writer

With winter break looming, the Pitt-Johnstown men’s basketball team is in the middle of a 15-day hiatus. Sitting at 5-3 and fourth in the PSAC Western Division, the Mountain Cats are on track for a successful season after the first portion of the year.

Despite coming off a 92-60 loss to East Stroudsburg University on Dec. 3, the men’s basketball team is 2-1 since Thanksgiving with wins over Penn State-Schuylkill and Bloomsburg University, winning those two games by a combined 183-116 margin.

They began that brief stretch with the win over PSU-Schuylkill, a game in which Pitt-Johnstown got off to a 15-6 start. After grabbing the quick lead, the Mountain Cats went on a 37-10 run to take a 52-16 lead just before halftime. Then, a 19-6 run early in the second half helped UPJ expand their lead to 47, a margin which remained mostly the same in a 106-57 victory.

Following the win, the Mountain Cats carried over momentum into their next game against Bloomsburg, where they managed to grab a fast 7-0 lead. The Huskies pulled within 2 around the midway point of the first half, but UPJ went on a 24-13 run to close out the half and go to the break with a 36-25 advantage. The Mountain Cats began the second half with another 7-0 run to make their lead 18, which would be the final margin in the 77-59 victory.

However, Pitt-Johnstown had their momentum halted at East Stroudsburg. The game began as a back-and-forth match and was tied at 10 with 13:25 remaining in the first half. East Stroudsburg then went on a 19-4 run in the next five minutes to take a 15-point lead, which they expanded to a 44-23 advantage by halftime. The Mountain Cats were then outscored 48-37 in the second half in the 92-60 loss.

Heading into winter break, John Paul Kromka leads the Mountain Cats in scoring, averaging 16.1 points per game, as well as blocks (19). Kromka’s 29.3 minutes per game are second on the team, just behind Andrew Shull’s 29.7, while Jared Jakubick isn’t far behind in third with 29.0 minutes per game. Jakubick, however, leads the team in three-point percentage, shooting 11-14 (.786).

Pitt-Johnstown’s next game will come on Sunday, Dec.18, when they face West Chester University in the UPJ Sports Center at 3:00 p.m.