Rock men cap off doubleheader sweep of Cheyney with dominating defensive performance

Published by adviser, Author: Cody Nespor - Sports Editor, Date: December 4, 2016
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Picking up their third win in the past two weeks, the Slippery Rock men’s basketball team held the Cheyney University Wolves to 36 total points in a 58-36 win Sunday afternoon.

Slippery Rock got off to a hot start in the game, outscoring Cheyney 31-18 in the first half and holding The Wolves to 7-27 (25.9 percent) shooting. Junior Khyree Wooten led the way for The Rock, scoring 11 points in the first half while dishing out two assists.

Rock head coach Kevin Reynolds said that his team was prepared to play today.

“We were ready to play, which was good. We knew the beat (California University) yesterday so we knew we needed to be ready to play today,” Reynolds said. “I think we had a lot of good momentum from yesterday’s win against West Chester.”

Halfway through the first half Cheyney started playing press defense, forcing the Rock players at make adjustments offensively.

“We have to match the physicality,” Reynolds said. “Players made good adjustments on the floor. (Jordan) Marrow helped us out really well against the press. I was happy with how he navigated it and got to where he needed to be on the court.”

The senior Marrow finished the game with five points and two rebounds but controlled the ball a lot when Cheyney made the switch to press defense.

The Green and White went on to outscore Cheyney 27-18 in the second half, leading to the eventual 58-36 victory. Wooten lead all scorers with 23 points, playing 38 minutes. Senior guard Naquil Jones played all 40 minutes of the game, scoring nine points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Starting in his second straight game, junior Christal Malalu led The Rock with 11 total rebounds, while chipping in four points. Fellow junior Guilherme Verado came off the bench to score six points on 2-6 shooting from three-point range. Also seeing some playing time was recently added junior guard Cornelius (Milly) Raye. Raye, who is a wide receiver on the football team, played the final two minutes of the game and attempted one three-point shot.

In total, The Rock held Cheyney to 22.2 percent (12-54) shooting and outrebounded The Wolves 47-33. SRU also held Cheyney’s leading scorer, Rafiq Marshall, to just four points. Coming into the game Marshall averaged 12.7 points per game.

Senior Forward George Chase was held out of the game due to an undisclosed injury. Coach Reynolds said he is just waiting for Chase to be cleared to play by team trainers and does not expect the injury to keep Chase out of the line-up for long.

The Rock, now 5-4, 2-2, will prepare to face Millersville University in its third straight Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference crossover game. Tipoff is set for 3:00 p.m. at Morrow Field House.

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