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JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – John Paul Kromka collected game highs of 17 points and 12 rebounds as Pitt-Johnstown pulled away for a 73-61 over Mercyhurst on Monday night in the Sports Center.

The Mountain Cats moved to 13-5 overall and in a tie with the Lakers for second place in the PSAC West standings at 9-3.

Kromka, who earned his fourth PSAC West defensive athlete of the week honor earlier on Monday, shot 5-for-7 from the field and 7-for-7 from the foul line to pace four Pitt-Johnstown double-figure scorers. Andrew Shull knocked down three 3-pointers and finished with 16 points, while Joe Batt had 14 points (7-for-7 at the foul line) and nine boards, and Jared Jakubick netted 14 points, including going 7-for-9 from the line.

Baskets from Kromka and Batt put Pitt-Johnstown on top 15-8 midway through the first half. The Mountain Cats, who shot 52.4% in the first 20 minutes, pushed the lead out to 10 on a Drew Magestro 3-pointer at the 2:18 mark, before taking a 32-27 advantage into the halftime break.

Mercyhurst clawed back to go in front by two four minutes into the second half, but Pitt-Johnstown quickly regained the lead on a Kromka free throw and the Mountain Cats never trailed again.

Two free throws from Shull and back-to-back 3-pointers from Jakubick and Batt extended the lead back into double figures at 51-41 with 11:29 to play.

Shull then connected on a 3-pointer at 10:24 that gave Pitt-Johnstown its largest lead of the night at the 9:32 mark, before Batt and Shull combined to hit seven straight free throws down the stretch that closed it out.

Pitt-Johnstown shot 48.8% from the field and 6-for-13 from behind the arc. The Mountain Cats also got it done at the line, hitting 27 of its 33 free throws. Mercyhurst was held to 36.4% shooting, including just 6-for-29 from 3-point range. The Lakers were 7-for-7 from the line.

Jeff Planutis had 12 points, and MiyKah McIntosh had 10 points for Mercyhurst, now 13-3 overall and 9-3 in the PSAC West.

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