On Monday evening, the Slippery Rock University men’s basketball team journeyed to the easternmost hoops venue in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) to open league play. In a clash between a pair of teams chosen in the preseason to finish second in their respective divisions, the Green and White was plagued by giveaways, gifting the contest to defending PSAC champion East Stroudsburg.
Following a conclusive win against Ohio University (Eastern) that past Tuesday, The Rock sought its first true road win of the season, which would have also been its first-ever win at Koehler Field House. The team stepped on the hardwood boasting the league’s third-best scoring offense having average 84.5 points through its first half-dozen games.
The team took its first—and only—lead 7:20 into the game when senior center Julius Palmer’s scored in the paint. Slippery Rock donated 11 turnovers from that point on in the first half, leading to a ten-point hole as the intermission arrived. Senior guard John Warren II, an All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference selection last season, paced SRU in first-half scoring with eight points. Vinny Lasley, a fifth-year senior forward, claimed five boards.
Facing its fourth halftime deficit of the season, and having been unable to overcome the previous three, The Rock watched as ESU scored on five of its first six second-half possessions. The gap widened to 14, the hosts would hold a comfortable for the remainder of the game.
Entering the day as the PSAC’s best in forcing turnovers (24.0 per game) and turnover margin (+6.17), East Stroudsburg pressed for eleven second-half takeaways. The 26 turnovers on the day were a season-high for SRU.
Slippery Rock’s Micah Till was held in check, scoring his second-lowest point total in a green and white jersey. Palmer finished with a double-double and Warren scored a team-high 13 points. East Stroudsburg was paced by the trio of Josh Williams (19 points), Jakwan Jones (15), and Nick Giordano (13).
Slippery Rock will look to improve its 2-5 mark Saturday afternoon when it continues conference crossover competition against the Golden Rams of West Chester.