Busy week for hoops as both teams head into PSAC playoffs

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 at 6:01 PM

Women suffer rare loss, fall versus IUP

The Edinboro women’s basketball team traveled to Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Feb. 21 for their second-to-last regular season game, falling for only the third time in the 2017-18 campaign. The Crimson Hawks topped the Scots 67-53.

The game, broadcast on the ESPN app, was very evenly matched, as both teams ranked high in the PSAC standings throughout the season. Edinboro scored 12 points in the first, 16 in the second and another 16 in the third quarter. In the fourth, the Fighting Scots would only put up nine points, though. Meanwhile, IUP would outscore them by 11 in that final stanza, pulling away. 

Top scorer of the game was Edinboro senior Ciara Rosten who accumulated a total of 24 points.

Women score senior day win against Mercyhurst in regular season finale

On Saturday, the Fighting Scots returned to McComb Fieldhouse to face off against the Mercyhurst Lakers for their last regular season game. The Fighting Scots came away with an 81-63 win.

Along with the last regular season game, it was senior day for the women’s team. Three graduating seniors — Ciara Rosten, Jontay Walton and Ayana Vaughn — were recognized. Alongside them was graduate student Whitney Allen, who is in her final year of NCAA eligibility after she was a medical redshirt because of an injury she suffered her senior year. 

The Scots came out hot, ending the first quarter with 24 points, while following that up with a 23-point second stanza. They held a 17-point lead at the half. 

Notably, Edinboro went 100 percent at the free-throw line on seven attempts.

Edinboro added 10 points in the third quarter and exploded for another 24 in the fourth.  

Edinboro’s top scorers of this game included Michaela Barnes with 24 points, and Rosten and Walton, both with 17 points. 

This game would mark the end of the Lakers’ season. They finished 10-18 overall and 8-14 in PSAC play. The win left the Edinboro Fighting Scots at 23-3 overall and 19-3 in conference play. 

“We just have to work together [as] it’s a mental game now,” Walton said about going into the playoffs. The team will go into the PSAC playoffs this week with their first playoff game on Feb. 28 at McComb Fieldhouse. 

“We’re confident. This win definitely set us up. It’s exciting that we get to play home on Wednesday and set the tone of [our] playoffs,” Rosten said about the team’s win.

Men’s basketball travels to Indiana, falls 77-69

As the PSAC men’s basketball playoffs approached, the Edinboro team geared up for their last two regular season games. 

“[We] needed to play mistake-free basketball,” Men’s Basketball Head Coach Pat Cleary stated when asked what his thoughts were going into his team’s game on Feb. 21.

The team traveled to Indiana University of Pennsylvania for a matchup that was to be televised on the ESPN app. And although the team recorded a 77-69 loss, “the game was closer than the score,” stated Cleary.

Indiana led 45-34 going into halftime, but the score would remain close in the final quarters. In the end, Edinboro led in second-point chances, points off of turnovers and bench points. Both teams tied for points in the paint, each having a total of 36.

Jaymon Mason led as top scorer for the Fighting Scots, accounting for a total of 21 points, followed by Keshawn Liggins with 20 points and junior Anthony Coleman with 10.

The next game for the Fighting Scots came three days later on Saturday at McComb Fieldhouse.

Men’s team falls in senior day contest against Mercyhurst

On Saturday, the Edinboro men’s basketball team returned home for their senior day game against Mercyhurst University. The team’s four seniors — Maceo Baston II, Keshawn Liggins, Mike Beck and Jaymon Mason — were all acknowledged before the game. 

Highlights of each player’s career at Edinboro were read aloud as the seniors were escorted by friends and family to the middle of the court. 

The Fighting Scots would fall 92-84, leaving them at 16-10 overall and 12-9 in the PSAC standings at the closing of the regular season.

Mercyhurst had the lead at half, 43-35, but Edinboro kept up their high energy throughout the game, despite making less than 50 percent of their shots. The game proved to be a record-breaker with Jaymon Mason hitting his goal of beating the all-time Edinboro scoring record previously held by his father, Tyrone Mason. 

Keshawn Liggins hit a season total of 600 points.

Both Mercyhurst and Edinboro scored a total of 49 points in the second half, but the Laker lead in the first was too much to overcome.

Edinboro’s top scorers of the game included Liggins with 30 points and Mason with 25.

Win sends men’s team to quarterfinals

On Monday, the Edinboro men’s basketball team defeated the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown 77-67 at McComb Fieldhouse. The win has them advancing to the quarterfinals of the PSAC playoffs. 

McComb was packed, with both teams fighting for the chance to play Indiana University of Pennsylvania next.  

The Mountain Cats would have the lead going into halftime, 36-33, but Edinboro wasn’t without its standout performances. They would pull down 21 rebounds, nine of which came from Keshawn Liggins. They also went nearly 90 percent from the charity stripe.

Jaryn Simpson and Alex Jay — two Edinboro freshmen — would make an impact in the second half. Simpson accounted for four points and four rebounds, while Jay would nab three boards and also put up four points. 

It was a very close second half until Edinboro finally picked up the lead and continued to push the margin, eventually ending up with a double digit win. 

“The guys fought through it and believed in themselves,” Men’s Basketball Head Coach Pat Cleary said. 

Top scorers of the game included senior Liggins with 26 points and junior Trey Staunch, who put up 22 points, a season-high for him.

The team will take a 17-10 overall record and 13-9 PSAC record into their game on Feb. 28 at Indiana. The winner of that game will move on and play Saturday.

Madi Gross can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

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