The Slippery Rock men’s basketball team bounced back from a tight loss to Pitt-Johnstown with a wire-to-wire win over Mercyhurst, 62-52, Wednesday night on the road in Erie, Pa.
Slippery Rock (9-9, 5-7 PSAC) got back into the win column thanks in large part to an 18-0 run to start the game against a Mercyhurst team that dropped its second game at home this season.
The usual suspects, senior forwards Micah Till and Will Robinson Jr., combined to score the first nine points for Slippery Rock with dominant play in the paint.
Aside from Robinson blitzing the Mercyhurst defense for 15 points on five of eight shooting in the first half, the Slippery Rock defense limited the Lakers to just one of 14 shooting from inside the 3-point line.
With six 3-pointers in the first half, Mercyhurst (10-6, 8-4 PSAC) fought back to a 32-20 deficit at the half.
While Mercyhurst cut the lead to single digits at points in the second, including a six point deficit with under a minute remaining in the game, Slippery Rock maintained control thanks to a fifth straight game of outrebounding the opponent by double digits.
Slippery Rock dominated the glass, a 44-27 rebound difference, which attributed to SRU’s 19-7 advantage in second-chance points and a 26-8 advantage in points in the paint.
Mercyhurst made just six less 3-pointers than two point field goals as Slippery Rock limited the Lakers to just 30% shooting from the field. The Slippery Rock offense shot just a tick over its season average to the tune of 46% from the field.
SRU: Robinson recorded his fifth straight 20 point game with 21 points on just 12 shots. The efficient outing was accompanied by seven rebounds and an assist. Till filled the stat sheet with 15 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and a steal.
Sophomore guard Amante Britt has seen his playing time jump, playing over 36 minutes in each of the last four games, which has led to more shooting and more scoring. Britt recorded 10 points against Mercyhurst and his 42 points over the past four games are a career-best four game stretch.
MU: MiyKah McIntosh led Mercyhurst with 17 points, and Zach McIntire rounded out the double digit scorers with 12 points.
SRU: With the win, Slippery Rock improves to 9-9 on the season and 5-7 in the conference.
Slippery Rock is a game behind Gannon for the fifth seed in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division, the loser of its last two outings.
The emergence of Britt’s scoring stretch has coincided with the absence of senior guard Jared Armstrong, Slippery Rock’s third leading scorer. Armstrong hasn’t played since Jan. 8 against Indiana (Pa.).
MU: Mercyhurst falls to 10-6 on the season and 8-4 in the conference with the loss.
The Lakers are tied with California (Pa.) for third in the division and sit two games up on Gannon in the playoff hunt.
Slippery Rock will host a sinking Edinboro team, which has lost seven straight games, at the Morrow Field House on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.