Rock basketball head Coach Kevin Reynolds and his new team stacked with junior college transfers lost to the University of Tennessee in the first exhibition game of the season on Thursday.
Seven new members of Rock basketball go their first experience being a part of the Green and White in a rough way. Though The Rock fought hard in the first portion of the game, the division I team from the highly respected Southeastern Conference showed why they play at the level they do. The Volunteers beat SRU 83-48 in a blowout victory.
The Rock stuck with the Vols for around 12 minutes of the game before for the under 8-minute media timeout. Only losing by one, a poor performance by the Rock and a spark in Tennessee’s players began the domination.
SRU turned the ball over 30 times. The times when they did protect the ball, they could not make most of their shots. As a unit, Slippery Rock made 20-58 shots (34.5 percent), with only two being three-pointers. Though the team shot poorly as whole, redshirt junior guard Merdic Green, led The Rock on offense with 16 points.
The newcomer from Marshalltown Community College (IA) went 7-12 from the field. He also posted 6 rebounds. Redshirt junior guard Khyree Wooten followed closely behind Green with 10 points.
Despite being blown out, boards are where SRU dominated the game. The Rock outrebounded the Vols 44-35, 20 which came on offense. Redshirt senior guard George Chase, a transfer from Potomac State College of West Virginia University, had a game-high 7 rebounds. He added 6 points as well.
Those numbers were no match for Tennessee’s offense who scored 44 points off of turnovers alone. Thirteen different Volunteers contributed to a 29-62 (46.8%) outing. The shooting performance was led by senior guard Robert Hubbs III and freshman guard Jordan Bone who dropped 14 and 11 points respectively.
With the opening of the regular season closely approaching in the PSAC-MEC challenge at Shepherd University, Reynolds only has one chance left to prepare his team before it really counts.
The Rock will head back on the road to take on the Central Michigan University on Saturday, November 5 at 1:30 p.m. in their final preseason exhibition game.