The Pi Gamma Royals narrowly defeated the Beta Gamma Patriots 70-60 in a feisty encounter for basketball supremacy in the National League. This was Beta’s first loss in several years and a massive win for Pi Gamma.
Both teams began the game at an incredibly high tempo but struggled with a number of turnovers.
Pi Gamma jumped to an early 6-4 lead before Beta’s junior guard, Mark England, hit a 3-pointer. The shot jumpstarted a shooting streak that stretched Beta’s lead to 12-6 with 15 minutes left in the first half.
Pi Gamma’s junior shooting forward, Bryce Allen, answered for the Royals with a 3-pointer of his own before making a steal and converting the layup. Behind Allen’s scoring, Pi Gamma surged ahead 20-14. Allen led Pi Gamma with 18 points in the first half.
Beta fought back through junior forward Bruce Burkholder. Despite a six-point deficit with five minutes left in the half, Beta regained the lead 37-36 at halftime.
The second half started at the same frantic pace as the first half. Another 3-pointer from England put Beta up 44-41. After a couple of baskets from Burkholder, Beta extended its lead to 53-43 with just over 12 minutes left in the half.
Just as it looked like Pi Gamma was in too deep of a hole, its defense came alive, forcing several turnovers from Beta and clawing its way back into the game. Pi Gamma scored 10 straight points to tie the game at 53, before eventually taking the lead at 62-57.
Although Beta reduced Pi Gamma’s lead to two points, Pi Gamma finished out the game rather comfortably by dominating the offensive boards to end the game on a 27-7 run. Pi Gamma’s Allen finished with 35 of his team’s 70 points.
Although Allen was cautious about making predictions for the rest of his team’s season, he was proud of Pi Gamma’s effort in making a comeback to win against a key rival.
With the win, Pi Gamma rises to the top of the National League.