The Rock Men’s Basketball will have to wait another year to try to take down Indiana (Pa.) in the regular season. Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) walked away with a 73-60 win over The Rock and swept their bitter rival on Saturday.
It has been a little over four years since The Rock emerged victorious over IUP. The good news for the team is that they still have the opportunity to fight for another shot against the Crimson Hawks.
The Rock started off the game fairly quickly, but it felt like they could do nothing to hold off the Crimson Hawks. IUP came into the game sitting at No. 4 in the nation. They had been ranked at No. 1 before Mercyhurst University knocked them off a couple of weeks prior.
Slippery Rock held a 4-0 lead in the first quarter, but as soon as they had the lead, it vanished. The Rock battled to try to even things multiple times in the first half, but every time they did, IUP scored a bucket that brought the crowd alive.
Lashon Lindsey’s eight first-half points helped draw Slippery Rock closer and closer, but after pulling within four points, IUP ended the first half on a 5-0 run.
Slippery Rock came out hot in the second half. Everything the Crimson Hawks did, they had an answer for in the first five minutes of the second period of play. Amante Britt, Lindsey and Khalid Gates helped even the score at 43, but that was as close as Slippery Rock got to reclaiming the lead.
From there, The Rock was held to just 17 more points in the entire game. IUP went on a 12-2 run that saw them pull away and gain a comfortable margin of victory.
The Rock still has two more games before they find out who they will play in the first round of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) tournament. For Slippery Rock, the two games will be crucial in trying to build momentum. They hope that momentum will see them get off the first round for the first time since 2018.