Penn State Harrisburg men's basketball wins first conference championship

Team will face Johns Hopkins in first round of NCAA tournament
basketball players holding trophy

Penn State Harrisburg men's basketball celebrates its first conference championship. From left to right: Josh Martin, Dylan Daniels, Chris Haynes, Clinton Asalu, Nate Curry, team manager Matt Joyce, Kobe Petrovich (in the background) and Brandon Coleman. 

Credit: Tom Klemick

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – For the first time in program history, the Penn State Harrisburg men’s basketball team was scheduled to compete in the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament after winning their first North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Championship on Saturday, Feb. 29 against Lancaster Bible College, 76-69.

*In the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak, sports events, including the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament have been canceled.

Donyae Baylor-Carroll, who scored 23 points, was named the NEAC Tournament MVP.  

Penn State Harrisburg had appeared in two conference title games in 2011 and 2012 prior to Saturday's contest, twice coming up just short in overtime.

Coach Don Friday holding net

Penn State Harrisburg men's basketball coach Don Friday 

Credit: Tom Klemick

Baylor-Carroll, Curry, Friday sweep NEAC postseason awards; four earn all-conference honors

In addition to the historic victory, Penn State Harrisburg swept the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) men's basketball postseason awards. Donyae Baylor-Carroll was named Player of the Year, Nate Curry was named Rookie of the Year and Don Friday was named Coach of the Year.  

The Lions picked up four total NEAC All-Conference honors, including first-team honors for Baylor-Carroll and Curry, and third-team recognition for Dylan Daniels and Zegary Scott III.

basketball player with arms raised

Sophomore NEAC Player of the Year Donyae Baylor-Carroll was also named NEAC Tournament MVP

Credit: Tom Klemick

Baylor-Carroll is just the second player in program history to be named conference player of the year, joining former standout Seth Lewis in 2008. Friday is the second Penn State Harrisburg coach to earn the league's top award after guiding the Lions to the NEAC Regular Season Championship and Curry became the first player in program history to pick up the rookie of the year accolade.

Baylor-Carroll currently ranks top-10 in the nation in both three-point field goals and three-point field goals per game. The sophomore averaged 18 points per game this season, ranking him fifth among conference players. Among NEAC players, the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, native ranks third in assists and fifth in steals, as well as top-10 in free throws made, free throw percentage and three-point percentage. He earned three NEAC Player of the Week awards this winter.

Curry is averaging 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. The freshman ranks third in the league for three-point field goals. The guard's rebounding total puts him sixth among conference players and the Brooklyn, New York native has recorded eight double-doubles this year.

Daniels leads the country in both total blocks and blocked shots per game. The sophomore shot 56.8 percent from the field this winter; ranking him fifth in the conference. His 8.4 rebounds per game put him fourth among NEAC players and the Clarksville, Maryland, native has earned nine double-doubles this season. The forward also picked up NEAC Player of the Week honors in November.

Scott ranks in the top 100 among NCAA Division III players for assists-per-game output and 169 total assists rank him top 10 among NCAA Division III players. The Jersey City, New Jersey, native played more minutes than anyone in the league and was tops in assist-to-turnover ratio among players seeing more than five minutes of action per contest.