The SRU men’s basketball’s (12-13, 8-11) losing streak was extended after allowing a late comeback and a last-second three-point shot by the Clarion University Golden Eagles (7-18, 4-15) on Wednesday night.
Clarion held the lead for the opening minutes, but did not pull far enough away for SRU to take the lead. With less than nine minutes remaining in the first, The Rock took its first lead of the game at 24-22. The Golden Eagles took the lead back in the beginning of the second, but quickly lost it. SRU would remain in control for majority of the remainder of the second half until the final two minutes.
The Golden Eagles scored five unanswered points to tie the score 61-61. Two missed shots by SRU gave Clarion an opportunity to score. With six seconds left, the Golden Eagles’ junior forward Jamani Pierce made a three-point basket that SRU did not have enough time to answer back to. Price finished with 11 points.
The two teams played a tight game statistically. SRU and Clarion were even on the glass, each picking up 28 rebounds. They protected the ball well, turning over the ball 11 and 13 times respectively.
Clarion found a way to be somewhat more efficient from the field. Slippery Rock made 23-53 (43.4 percent) of its shots from the field to Clarion’s 22-44 (50 percent). The Rock made five three-point shots, one fewer than Clarion, and each shot 15 free throws. The Rock made 10, Clarion made 15.
Senior Naquil Jones led SRU’s scoring outing with 27 points, followed by redshirt junior guard Merdic Green who had 12.
Price made the game-winning basket for Clarion, but it was junior Cameron Grumley who led the Golden Eagles charge with 19 points.
This is SRU’s third loss in a row and keeps them at fifth place in the conference. With only three games left in the season, their chances of post-season play are slipping away.
The Rock has a chance to continue to fight for a spot in the PSAC tournament on Saturday, Feb. 18 against Gannon University at 3:00 p.m. at Morrow Field House.