The Slippery Rock University men’s basketball team upset Indiana University (Pa) 73-61 Saturday night, breaking the Crimson Hawks’ 13-game winning streak.
In front of a capacity home crowd, The Rock men put together a great team effort to overcome a ten-point halftime deficit and come away with the win.
IUP came into the game as the number one team in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West division at 19-5 overall and 16-3 in the conference. Prior to the game, IUP had not lost in the 2016 calendar year, with its last loss coming Dec. 12.
A disappointing first half found Slippery Rock down 33-23 going into halftime. In the second half, SRU leaned on seniors Cornelius Brown and Malcolm Richardson to outscore IUP 50-28.
Brown, a center, led all scorers with 23 points, 19 in just the second half. Brown also pulled in 17 total rebounds, finishing the game with a double-double.
SRU head coach Kevin Reynolds thought Brown made the correct adjustments at halftime to lead the team to the win.
“He played great, he’s an all-conference player. We told him at halftime we needed him to play to his capabilities,” Reynolds said. “It wasn’t a great first half for him but I think that’s what has made him special this year. He’s been able to change his mental approach and his game plan.”
Richardson, a guard, ended second on the team with 19 points, 14 of them coming in the second half. Senior guard Abdul King also scored in double digits with 10 points.
In the second half, SRU shot a blistering 59 percent from the field while holding IUP to only 30 percent shooting.
Reynolds thought the home crowd had a big effect on his team and helped push the team to the win.
“It was a great home court again. The home crowd really helped us push through some tough times,” Reynolds said. “We got a really good group effort today, I would say a good school effort. The fans, cheerleaders and players did a real good job of getting behind each other and playing. It’s hard to beat Slippery Rock’s enthusiasm.”
The Slippery Rock student body came out in force, filling the stands to watch the Green and White take down rival IUP.
The win brings SRU to 14-11 overall, 9-10 in PSAC play and moves the team into a tie for fifth place with Seton Hill. With three regular season games left The Rock now sits in a playoff spot and controls its own destiny heading down the stretch.