Another afternoon of hot opposition shooting and a Slippery Rock drought led to a second consecutive loss following four wins in the last five contests for the Slippery Rock men’s basketball team.
A 98-70 loss to California (Pa.) on the road Saturday afternoon locked up a season sweep for Cal-U.
Shooting just 33% from the field and a measly 16% from the 3-point line, the Slippery Rock (10-11, 6-9 PSAC) offense continued searching for a consistently reliable lineup. With only three assists against California, the offense could not get any traction.
After falling behind midway through the first half, following a 35-20 California run, Slippery Rock was unable to catch back up.
California (15-6, 11-4 PSAC) opened the second half with a trio of 3-pointers and coasted to an easy victory behind 9-of-13 shooting from beyond the arc in the second half.
For the second consecutive game, Slippery Rock was outscored in the paint by a significant margin (42-16), which combined with a 13-4 disparity in 3-point baskets, led to the near 30-point defeat.
SRU: Senior forward Will Robinson, Jr. led the way for Slippery Rock with a 15-point, 7-rebound game.
Freshman forward Revelinio Tholel turned in one of his best performances of the season with 12 points, five rebounds and an assist. Senior forward Micah Till came off the bench with a 14-point, 7-rebound game.
Cal: Jermaine Hall, Jr. and Brent Pegram paced California in scoring with 23 and 21 points, respectively.
Hall chipped in six rebounds and a steal while Pegram added four rebounds and four assists.
Luke House and Tim Smith, Jr. rounded out double digit scorers for California with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
SRU: Slippery Rock falls to 10-11 on the season, sinking below the .500 mark, and 6-9 in the conference with the loss.
Still firmly in the playoff hunt, Slippery Rock’s schedule features a winnable game against Clarion and a tough road contest against Indiana (Pa.).
On the season, Slippery Rock now averages fewer points (74.5) than it allows (75.4) per game. SRU still ranks third in rebounds per game in the conference (39.4) but has been outrebounded in each of its last two games — both losses.
Cal: California improves to 15-6 on the season and 11-4 in the conference with the win.
With the win, California clinched its spot in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference tournament this season. Holding the No. 3 seed, tied with Pitt-Johnstown, Cal-U could lose each of its remaining games and still make the playoffs.
Slippery Rock will host Clarion on Wednesday evening in a PSAC-West showdown at the Morrow Field House. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.