50-point second half lifts Fighting Scots over Rock

Published by adviser, Author: Cody Nespor - Assistant Sports Editor, Date: November 19, 2015
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Turnovers and fouls ruled the game as the Slippery Rock men’s basketball team fell to the Edinboro Fighting Scots 80-74 on the road Wednesday night. The game acted as both team’s Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) opener and it was Edinboro’s first game of the season. The loss drops SRU’s early season record to 1-2 while Edinboro starts off the year 1-0.

It was not a particularly clean game for either side as each team combined to give up 18 turnovers and commit 48 personal fouls. Slippery Rock lost the turnover battle 14-4 and Edinboro led slightly in fouls 25-23.

SRU head coach Kevin Reynolds emphasized  that he wants his team to play tougher and to cut down on mental mistakes.

“If there’s one area that we need to improve on it’s to get tougher when the contact is there and get tougher mentally. We just can’t try to play soft,” Reynolds said. “We have to do a better job of making free throws and we have to do a better job of not fouling.”

The score was 35-30 Slippery Rock at the half, but the Scots went on to score 50 points in the second half to claim their first win against Slippery Rock in the last seven games between the two. The Rock held the Edinboro to only a 37.5 (24-64) shooting percentage from the floor, but Edinboro was more efficient from the foul line, converting 26-39 (66.7%) free throws. SRU shot 49.1 (27-55) from the floor, but only made 16-27 (59.3%) of their free throws.

Leading the way for The Green and White was senior center Cornelius Brown who led all scorers with 26 points on 9-12 shooting (7-12 from the foul line) and grabbed 12 total rebounds in 33 minutes for his second double-double of the year. Through three games Brown is averaging 18.7 points and 10.0 boards.

“(Cornelious) is playing well, he’s playing with energy and he’s playing with enthusiasm,” Reynolds said. “I think the thing that has really helped is that Cornelious has practiced hard so I think he’s seeing the results from practice out on the floor.”

Junior forward Chaquille Pratt finished second on the team with 17 points, going 5-13 from the field and 7-11 from the line. Pratt just missed out on a double-double of his own as he had eight total rebounds of his own.

Senior guards Malcolm Richardson and Dontay Jackson also finished scoring in double digits with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Richardson chipped in six defensive rebounds and both Richardson and Jackson has four assists. Both players struggled with ball control as Richardson led the team in turnovers with six and Jackson was second with three.

The final starter for The Rock, senior guard Jamal Gatali, matched a career high in blocks with four to go with his three points and two assists.

Turnovers are ultimately what cost the game for Slippery Rock as Edinboro scored 23 points off of SRU’s 18 turnovers. Edinboro’s bench also excelled, outscoring The Rock’s bench 25-3. Slippery Rock was more successful in the paint, outscoring The Scots 36-28 and held a slight advantage in rebounds 42-41.

Leading the charge for Edinboro were senior guard Henri Wade-Chatman (17 points, nine rebounds) and senior center Tommy Scales (15 points, nine rebounds).

Slippery Rock will take a couple days of before its pair of home games this weekend against Mansfield University Saturday and Lock Haven University Sunday.

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