Rock tournament hopes in jeopardy

Madeline Williams, Assistant Sports Editor
February 23, 2012
Filed under Sports, Uncategorized

The Slippery Rock University men’s basketball team put their trip to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference tournament in jeopardy when they fell to Gannon University, 80-73, on Wednesday night in Morrow Field House.

The Golden Knights outscored The Rock 14-3 in the remaining six minutes of the first half and went on an 18-3 run midway through the second half to earn the PSAC-West win.

The Rock dropped to 16-9 overall and 13-8 in the PSAC, losing their second consecutive game and moving into a tie with California (16-11, 13-8) for third place in the region standings.

A win for the Green and White tomorrow against Clarion would assure a spot for SRU in the conference tournament.

The only condition that would deny the Rock a postseason appearance would be a loss to Clarion, along with a California victory over Edinboro and a Gannon win over Indiana.

The Rock will celebrate Senior Day as they play Clarion in their final regular-season game tomorrow at 3 p.m. in Morrow Field House.

Senior guard John Bossle is amazed by how quickly his collegiate basketball career has gone, but he isn’t ready for it to be over quite yet.

“I can’t believe how fast the time has flown over the years, but I’m going to enjoy this last game to the fullest,” Bossle said. “More importantly we have to approach tomorrow’s game like it’s a playoff game because we need a win to ensure our place in the PSAC tournament.”

Freshman forward Chaquille Pratt led the Rock with 19 points on Wednesday.

Pratt has now scored 67 points in the last five games, averaging 13.4 per game.

Junior guard John Bayardelle contributed 12 points and junior guard Aubin Reeves added an additional 10 points and nine rebounds on Wednesday night.

Senior guard Jon Valeriano had three 3-pointers to score nine points and junior forward Tabari Perry added eight points and six boards for The Rock.

The Green and White shot 42 percent (27-65) from the field, 43 percent (12-28) from 3-point range, and made 78 percent (7-9) of their free throw attempts.

The Golden Knights became only the fourth team to outrebound The Rock this season by a 37-31 rebounding advantage.

Both teams had 16 turnovers each.

Gannon took an early lead and led for the first four and a half minutes before Valeriano nailed two back-to-back 3-pointers to give The Rock a 14-9 lead with 15 minutes remaining in the first half.

The Rock had a 10-point, 35-25, lead with 6:15 left in the first half, before the Golden Knights went on a 14-3 run to take a 39-38 lead heading into the half.

Coming back from the intermission, Gannon outscored SRU by an 18-3 margin to hold a 63-51 advantage with 9:15 remaining in the second half.

With a minute left in the game, the Green and White fought back to within five points of the Golden Knights, but not quite enough to overcome their PSAC-West rival.

Last Saturday, SRU fell to defending PSAC champion Indiana University, 66-63.

Senior guard Devin Taylor finished the game with 14 points and seven rebounds for The Rock.

Pratt contributed 12 points and five rebounds, Perry added 10 points and nine rebounds, junior center Luiz Santos finished the game with eight points and Bayardelle added By Madeline Williams

Assistant Sports Editor

The Slippery Rock University men’s basketball team put their trip to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference tournament in jeopardy when they fell to Gannon University, 80-73, on Wednesday night in Morrow Field House.

The Golden Knights outscored The Rock 14-3 in the remaining six minutes of the first half and went on an 18-3 run midway through the second half to earn the PSAC-West win.

The Rock dropped to 16-9 overall and 13-8 in the PSAC, losing their second consecutive game and moving into a tie with California (16-11, 13-8) for third place in the region standings.

A win for the Green and White tomorrow against Clarion would assure a spot for SRU in the conference tournament.

The only condition that would deny the Rock a postseason appearance would be a loss to Clarion, along with a California victory over Edinboro and a Gannon win over Indiana.

The Rock will celebrate Senior Day as they play Clarion in their final regular-season game tomorrow at 3 p.m. in Morrow Field House.

Senior guard John Bossle is amazed by how quickly his collegiate basketball career has gone, but he isn’t ready for it to be over quite yet.

“I can’t believe how fast the time has flown over the years, but I’m going to enjoy this last game to the fullest,” Bossle said. “More importantly we have to approach tomorrow’s game like it’s a playoff game because we need a win to ensure our place in the PSAC tournament.”

Freshman forward Chaquille Pratt led the Rock with 19 points on Wednesday.

Pratt has now scored 67 points in the last five games, averaging 13.4 per game.

Junior guard John Bayardelle contributed 12 points and junior guard Aubin Reeves added an additional 10 points and nine rebounds on Wednesday night.

Senior guard Jon Valeriano had three 3-pointers to score nine points and junior forward Tabari Perry added eight points and six boards for The Rock.

The Green and White shot 42 percent (27-65) from the field, 43 percent (12-28) from 3-point range, and made 78 percent (7-9) of their free throw attempts.

The Golden Knights became only the fourth team to outrebound The Rock this season by a 37-31 rebounding advantage.

Both teams had 16 turnovers each.

Gannon took an early lead and led for the first four and a half minutes before Valeriano nailed two back-to-back 3-pointers to give The Rock a 14-9 lead with 15 minutes remaining in the first half.

The Rock had a 10-point, 35-25, lead with 6:15 left in the first half, before the Golden Knights went on a 14-3 run to take a 39-38 lead heading into the half.

Coming back from the intermission, Gannon outscored SRU by an 18-3 margin to hold a 63-51 advantage with 9:15 remaining in the second half.

With a minute left in the game, the Green and White fought back to within five points of the Golden Knights, but not quite enough to overcome their PSAC-West rival.

Last Saturday, SRU fell to defending PSAC champion Indiana University, 66-63.

Senior guard Devin Taylor finished the game with 14 points and seven rebounds for The Rock.

Pratt contributed 12 points and five rebounds, Perry added 10 points and nine rebounds, junior center Luiz Santos finished the game with eight points and Bayardelle added seven points off the bench for The Rock.

The Green and White finished the game with a 31-28 rebounding advantage over the Crimson Hawks.

During the first six and a half minutes of the game, IUP and SRU swapped lead changes four times and had the score tied on three occasions.

Indiana scored 10 unanswered points to take a 24-14 lead with less than eight minutes in the first half, but cut the Crimson Hawks’ lead to 32-23 as they headed into intermission.

In the second half, SRU went on a 17-4 run to cut the deficit and take a 44-43 lead with 11 points remaining in the game.

The Green and White took their final lead of the game with 8:30, 46-45, on a shot by Perry.

Indiana held three four-point leads in the final minutes until Bayardelle hit a three that tied the score 61-61 with 1:01 left on the clock.

IUP scored a 3-pointer with 0:31 left and made two free throws to take a 66-61 lead.

Perry scored with 0:12 for the final points of the game. On one final shot attempt, Taylor missed a game-tying 3-point shot with 0:05.

The Green and White finished the game with a 42 percent (25-59) efficiency on their field-goal attempts, shot 29 percent  (5-17) from behind the arc, and made 89 percent (8-9) of their free throws.

Saturday’s away game at IUP was the last road trip of the regular season for SRU.

Bayardelle said that the closely played IUP game gave the team the confidence and momentum going into the later part of the season.

“We started slow in the first half, but we grew much stronger,” Bayardelle said. “In the second half, I think we played the best basketball we’ve played all season.”

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