Despite a slow start by the men’s basketball team, and in a game that featured seven lead changes, The Rock was able to pull away from Clarion University (3-21) in the final 10 minutes of the game to win 82-65.
With the win, the Green and White remain in second place in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West with a 19-6 overall record and a 13-6 conference record. Coming into the game, Clarion was riding a 12 game losing streak, which presented a hungry and desperate match-up for The Rock.
“To get a team with their record to play that hard says a lot about their team and their program,” SRU men’s basketball head coach Kevin Reynolds said following the game. “We knew it was going to be tough, that was our number one criteria today was we needed to play harder than them and we didn’t, we just had some good efforts out of Gabe (Mack) and Micah (Till) late in the game.”
Redshirt sophomore forward Micah Till recorded his 18th double-double of the season posting 23 points with 12 rebounds, two blocks, and two steals to add. In addition, redshirt junior guard Gabe Mack racked up a season-best 19 points for The Rock with one assist and a block.
To start the game, Clarion opened up the scoring with a seven to nothing spark in opening minutes of the game. The Rock would then slowly climb their way back into the game, as they were able to grab their first lead with 7:34 remaining in the first half and were able to take that lead into the second half at 40-39.
“We haven’t started quickly and I would hate to use that as an excuse,” Reynolds said. “Really for two weeks we’ve been talking about trying to get a quicker, better start and that didn’t work.”
Early in the second half, the chess match continued with more lead changes until The Rock was able to pull away with just under 10 minutes to play in the game, stretching their lead out to 17 by the end of the game to top Clarion 82-65.
“I think the guys did a better job of identifying what was available and what wasn’t in the second half significantly better than the first half,” Reynolds said.
Up next for The Rock comes a date at fourth place Edinboro University (14-8) on Wednesday night with tip-off starting at 7:30 p.m.