Fighting Scots b-ball loses to Seton Hill

Category:  Sports
Thursday, January 30th, 2020 at 7:00 PM
Fighting Scots b-ball loses to Seton Hill by Sam Bohen
Jaryn Simpson goes up for a jumper against some Seton Hill defenders. | Photo: Dylan Baumgartner

Both Edinboro University and Seton Hill University came into their Jan. 22 matchup riding losing streaks. Unfortunately for the Scots, it was their streak that would continue after falling, 86-75, to the Griffins. 

“Every day is a new day, so we have to just keep playing hard,” said senior Daylon Harris. “We’ll keep practicing and learning from our mistakes and just keep playing.”

Edinboro won the opening tip, and for the first five minutes of the half, the Scots and Griffins would trade blows back and forth, eventually making it 11-7 in favor of Seton Hill. The Griffins were led by Nathan Davis, who finished with 34 points. Edinboro was able to slow the senior guard down in late stages of the first half when they switched to a zone defense. 

“It was better off,” Harris added. “24 (Davis) wasn’t able to get as many looks as he was earlier. We made good adjustments to keep him in check.”

“(Zone defense) was something that was going to work in that moment,” said Head Coach Pat Cleary. “If that’s something we can build off of going forward, then we’ll continue to look into it.”

The zone defense started to switch the momentum in the game. But it was a physical no-call on point guard Jaryn Simpson that ignited something in the Scots. Simpson was knocked to the ground making his way through a crowded area of the court by a questionable blow from a Seton Hill player. The McComb Fieldhouse crowd felt the play deserved at least a foul called, if not more. 

Simpson would leave the game temporarily as a result of the play, and Edinboro came alive in defense of their point guard. A game that was 41-25 in favor of Seton Hill with just under four minutes, went into the half 43-37 thanks to big plays down the stretch. This included Trey Staunch’s nine points and freshman Jack Gallagher finishing a fast break layup to end the second quarter.

“We’re always going to step up for our teammate,” Harris said. “We all had extra energy from that.”  

Seton Hill would then start the second half on a 7-2 run, but Edinboro would keep the deficit to single digits until nearly the 10-minute mark in the half. The teams would continue to trade blows, but ultimately Edinboro would not be able to climb all the way back. 

“It was hard to break that 10-point lead they had,” Harris said. “But our team kept fighting, and we should be proud of ourselves.”

Edinboro certainly has something to proud of, despite the losing streak. Simpson and Staunch both finished with 20 points. Simpson would add five assists, a few of which were pure dimes in transition. Staunch extended his streak of double-digit scoring games to eight. 

Harris would contribute 18 points and six rebounds of his own. Turner Kurt would add six points and two blocks. Sophomore Kameron King, who made his first career start, contributed six points and 24 meaningful minutes. Gallagher would also play 24 minutes and pulled down seven boards to go with five points. 

“We’re looking for answers right now,” said Cleary. “Jack (Gallagher) brings a lot of energy each night. Kam (King) is really showing us something.”

Cleary has been forced to try new lineups of late because of the injuries that have plagued the Scots’ roster. Once again, Edinboro was without leading scorer Anthony Coleman; the redshirt senior has missed the last three games. The Scots were also without senior big man Anthony Allen due to an illness. 

The loss drops the Fighting Scots to 5-11 overall and 2-7 in PSAC play. The loss also brings ‘Boro’s losing streak to seven games, which matches their longest streak of last season. The search for answers continued Saturday, when they traveled down I-79 to take on Slippery Rock. They would lose their eighth straight, 79-73.

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