Rock men’s basketball (13-13, 9-11) snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday in a 71-67 win against Gannon University (16-9, 14-7).
The win was SRU’s head coach Kevin Reynolds 100th at Morrow Field House. Reynolds said it was how well the team worked together that made them successful.
“It was as good as we shared the ball in a long time,” Reynolds said. “I have no complaints. The guys played really well.”
Slippery Rock had four players in double figures and eight contribute points overall. One of those players who scored in double figures was redshirt senior forward George Chase who was honored on senior day alongside senior guards Naquil Jones and Jordan Marrow.
Chase, a transfer from Potomac State College of West Virginia, made a season-high 11 points. Chase said he played terribly the previous games and had a lot to make up for and accomplish in this game.
“It was senior night and we wanted to get coach’s 100th,” Chase said. “I was just trying to take care of two big things at one time.”
While it did not seem as if SRU would get a happy ending to their senior day in the beginning of the game, a late run that in the first half to close a 10-point deficit to two would change the momentum for The Rock.
Gannon would only keep control of the game for the opening six minutes of the half before Slippery Rock would step in front. Taking the lead only to as much as seven points, Gannon would tie the score at 65-65 with a 1:15 left to play. A foul on redshirt junior guard Merdic Green would be the beginning of three perfect trips to the free throw line that the Golden Knights could not come back from.
SRU made 25-54 (46.3 percent) of its shots from the field and 16-17 (94.1 percent) free throws. They were outrebounded by the Golden Knights 29-27, but were able to force 16 turnovers and only commit 11.
Green led the Rock with 16 points. Green, who has been one of the team’s most consistent scorers, said that when everyone plays together, the team is a lot better.
“We were playing as a team,” Green said. “Chris was hot in the beginning, then we gave it to George, then me.”
Junior Christal Malalu trailed behind Green with 14 points and also had six rebounds. Malalu’s rebounds were second behind junior forward Vinny Lasley’s 11.
The Golden Knights 26-50 (52 percent) scoring outing was led by the dynamic duo of senior forward Matthew Dogan, who had 22 points, and junior guard Zay Jackson, who had 15 points and eight rebounds. Dogan and Jackson are ninth and 12th in the scoring in the PSAC respectively.
While the win does not move SRU up in the rankings, it does give them a better chance to move up in the future and a good win before taking on a tough Edinboro team.
SRU will take on the Fighting Scotts on Wednesday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Edinboro University.