Concord Cruises to 86-76 Win vs. Pitt-Johnstown - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Concord Cruises to 86-76 Win vs. Pitt-Johnstown

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The Concord University men's basketball team kept its perfect record intact Saturday with an 86-76 victory over Pitt-Johnstown in the Mountain Lions' first West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game of the season.

Concord improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the WVIAC with the win while the Mountain Cats dropped to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in the WVIAC. Concord did not trail for the entire game.

The Maroon and Gray were led in the victory by senior forward Damien Tunstalle and sophomore guard Paul Byrd. Tunstalle delivered a 25-point, five-rebound effort and has now scored at least 20 points in two of Concord's three games this season. Byrd scored a career-high 20 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 game from the foul line.

Sophomore forward Jordan Davis and junior guard Thomas Brown both came close to earning double-doubles. Davis went for 11 points and eight rebounds and Brown had 12 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Mike Boyd dished out a game-high six assists to go with four rebounds and one steal of his own.

As a team, Concord just edged the Mountain Cats in field goal percentage (47.5 percent – 47.0 percent). CU was nearly flawless from the foul line, converting 19-of-22 shots (86.4 percent) while also draining nine three-pointers.

The Mountain Lions held clear advantages over Pitt-Johnstown in rebounds (41-32), second chance points (16 – 8) and bench points (32-0). Concord's bench has outscored its opposition in all three games this season.

Concord set the tone for the game early, jumping out to an 8-0 lead through the first two minutes of action behind three-pointers from Tunstalle and Brown with a putback by Davis sandwiched between the two long-distance shots.

CU extended its lead to as many as 12 points (38-26), ultimately taking an eight-point, 40-32, advantage into halftime.

Concord's lead grew to a game-high 14 points at 48-34 before Pitt-Johnstown mounted its comeback by going on a 29-15 run to tie the contest at 63-63 with 7:17 to play in the second half. However, Concord was able to recover from the Mountain Cats' offensive explosion thanks to a pair of free throws by Brown that put Concord back on top for good 65-63 at the six-minute mark in the period.

The Mountain Lions outscored Pitt-Johnstown 21-13 to end the game thanks to 10 points from Byrd and seven points from Tunstalle as wells as two points apiece from Davis and Boyd down the stretch to secure the 86-76 win. In the game's final two minutes, Concord went 12-for-12 from the foul line.

Coach Kent McBride's squad will now take their perfect record back on the road for a 7:15 p.m. showdown at Alderson-Broaddus Tuesday, Nov. 20.