After falling to the University of Pittsburgh 96-60 in an exhibition game last weekend, the Slippery Rock men’s basketball team is hopeful to kick off the regular season with a win on Saturday.
Against Pitt, senior center Maurice Lewis-Briggs led the Rock with 20 points and eight rebounds.
Senior forward Tabari Perry recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while senior guard Josh Martin contributed eight points and three assists. Pitt had four players score in the double digits.
The Green and White shot 34 percent from the floor, 30 percent from 3-point range, and 63 percent from the foul line.
Pitt shot 50 percent from the field, 36 percent from behind the arc, and 62 percent from the free-throw line.
The Panthers held a 45-39 advantage in rebounds.
The team enjoyed the opportunity to play against Division I competition during the pre-season and experience the exciting atmosphere of the Petersen Events Center.
“Playing Pitt at the Petersen Center is an event that I will remember for the rest of my life,” said redshirt sophomore Jordan Grady. “I will be telling stories of that night for a long time. It was an awesome environment to compete in. The “Zoo” was alive. Playing high Division I players really gave us a sense of where we stand in the world of basketball.”
This season, the NCAA is cracking down on hand checking and the interpretation of the block-charge call, and it definitely has changed the way the game is played.
There were 63 fouls in the Rock’s exhibition game against Southern Mississippi last Tuesday and 53 fouls called in the Pitt-SRU game last Friday.
“The preseason games taught us that most importantly we need to work on free throws, especially with the new officiating rules” said redshirt sophomore Maxx Rynd. “Since we competed well with two top Division I teams, I think with some improvements we will be able to achieve a lot of our goals this season. We’re focused and have the right mind set going into the start of the season.”
This weekend, Slippery Rock will travel to Shepherd University for the Clarion Hotel Conference Classic where they will take on Charleston in the opening day of action. On Sunday, the Rock will play the tournament’s host team.
The next game for SRU will be the home opener on Nov. 14 against Ohio Valley University at Morrow Field House.