In a tough, back-and-forth contest against Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West rival Seton Hill, The Rock men’s basketball team committed one too many personal fouls and lost in the game’s final seconds.
With 21 seconds left in regulation, senior guard Jamal Gatali made a game-tying three-pointer to knot the score at 51. On Seton Hill’s next possession, guard Kameron Taylor was fouled while driving to the hoop by Gatali with six seconds remaining on the clock. Taylor hit both free throws to put the Griffins up 53-51. That score would be the final as junior forward Chaquille Pratt’s last second attempt was no good at the buzzer and Seton Hill completed the season sweep of The Rock.
Taylor scored the Griffin’s final five points and led all scorers with 27 in the game.
Senior center Cornelius Brown led the Green and White with 17 points and 10 rebounds, his team-leading 10th double-double of the season. Gatali finished with eight points and eight rebounds while Pratt ended up scoring eight points and pulling in eight total rebounds. Senior Malcolm Richardson also played well for SRU, being the only other scorer in double digits for The Rock with 10 points to go along with four boards and four assists.
With 3:24 left in the first half the two teams were tied at 20, but then Seton Hill went on a 7-0 run leading into halftime. Three minutes into the second half, the Griffins’ lead had grown to nine points before a 19-10 Rock run evened the score moments before the exciting finish.
Slippery Rock led Seton Hill in rebounds (44-30), second chance points (18-2) and points in the paint (30-24). However, Seton Hill only turned the ball over 13 times compared to The Rock’s 17 and made 14-18 free throws while SRU made only 5-9 free throws.
Slippery Rock (12-11, 7-10 PSAC) now sits tied for sixth and final PSAC tournament spot with Seton Hill (9-12, 7-10 PSAC). The Rock only has five regular season games remaining as the postseason race starts to heat up.
SRU’s next contest will be at California (PA) University Wednesday night. Slippery Rock defeated Cal 61-56 when the two team last met in mid-January.