The Slippery Rock University men’s basketball team concluded their two-game road trip with a 71-67 win over Seton Hill University on Saturday.
The Rock offense jumped out to a quick lead early in the opening minutes before Seton Hill slowed the momentum down during the latter half of the half. The game would go into halftime with the Green and White leading 38-36, thanks to a buzzer-beating three-point shot from junior Jared Armstrong.
Slippery Rock would not give up the lead for the entirety of the second half, despite the Griffins threatening numerous times. The Rock defense held SHU to a 30 percent shooting efficiency during the second half but shot 73 percent (11 for 15) from the free-throw line during that time. With less than 20 seconds left in regulation, senior Julius Palmer hit a jump-shot to give The Rock the lead. The Griffins would not be able to score on the team’s final possession and would ultimately lose their fifteenth game of the season.
Saturday’s win saw The Rock playing in their first full game without Preseason All-American Micah Till. Till, who is the team’s leader in points with 462, suffered an injury during The Rock’s 77-48 loss to Indiana University (Pa.) on Wednesday. With Till hurt, The Rock saw Palmer redshirt senior Vinny Lasley step-up to fill that void down low. The duo combined for 23 points, shooting 10 for 13 from the field, and 18 rebounds.
Offensively, Slippery Rock was led by Armstrong, who put up 20 points (seven for 14 from the field) and forced a turnover. Senior John Warren II recorded 17 points, six rebounds and four assists, while fellow senior Nolen Gerald put up nine points, forced two turnovers and collected four rebounds.
The win improves The Rock to 16-7 overall and 13-3 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). They trail only IUP (21-2/14-2) in the PSAC-West Division. The Griffins fall to 7-15 and 5-11 in the conference, placing them seventh in the PSAC-West. They lead only Edinboro and Clarion University.
The Rock returns home on Wednesday for a PSAC-West showdown with conference rival Mercyhurst (16-4/11-4), who have won eight in a row. The matchup with the Lakers is also SRU’s annual “White Out” game. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.