Injuries, #7 IUP defeat EU, 88-53

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 at 7:10 PM
Injuries, #7 IUP defeat EU, 88-53 by Sam Bohen
Jaryn Simpson looks to the basket during the game against IUP. | Photo: Dylan Baumgartner

The Fighting Scots men’s basketball team fell to Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Jan. 15 at home, 88-53. The loss drops the team to 5-9 overall and brings their PSAC record to 2-8. The Scots were hoping to snap a four-game losing streak, however, the #7 Crimson Hawks kept the drought going for at least one more game.

“It’s time for us to regroup,” said head coach Pat Cleary. “We’ve got to regroup and get ourselves a win.”

A win would be welcomed for the Fighting Scots, who were 1-9 in their last 10 after the IUP defeat, despite jumping out to a 4-1 start earlier this season.

“We’ve had a brutal schedule,” Clearly explained. “But we’ve had a few at home, and we’ve got a three-game homestand now, and we’ve got to try to find a way to win the next one on Saturday.”

While many factors contribute in any loss, two can be highlighted against Indiana. The first being the opponent: Indiana came into the contest as the #7 overall ranked Division II team in the country. At 14-1 and 9-1 in conference play, they’re beating opponents by an average of 19 points per game. Simply put, even if the Scots had played a perfect game, it would have been close.

“Everyone has to come together, mentally, to prepare for this team (IUP),” said senior Anthony Allen. “It’s really hard to prepare for a team with that much talent.”

The Scots won the opening tip and were able to jump out to a 4-2 lead, however Indiana answered quickly and went on a series of runs. The first was 12-2 in favor of the Crimson Hawks, which gave them a 14-point advantage before an Allen dunk ended the run.

Junior Jaryn Simpson scored 10 points in the final seven minutes of the first half, but that wasn’t enough as the Hawks stretched the lead to 15 at half, with the score at 41-26. Simpson would finish with 13 points, four assists and three rebounds.

In the second half, Edinboro continued to show fight. Steven Freeman added five consecutive points. Trey Staunch would total 13 points on the night. But one player, in particular, stood out to Cleary.

“I thought Anthony (Allen) really played his tail off,” he said of his senior big man. “He gave us really good minutes tonight, and hopefully we can keep that going moving forward.”

Allen, coming off the bench, finished with a career-high 10 points. He also added two blocks and five rebounds.

“You just got to play hard,” Allen said. “Especially when it gets rough, you’ve got to play hard. So that’s what I do.”

A second notable factor in the loss was injuries. The team was first without leading scorer Anthony Coleman. The redshirt senior averages 18.8 points per game and plays roughly 34 minutes a night. Daylon Harris, who averages nearly 10 points and three rebounds per game, missed time against Indiana due to an injury, as well.

Whatever the cause for Wednesday night’s loss, the Scots aren’t happy with where they find themselves at this point in the season.

“This losing streak sucks,” Allen said. “But we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. We’ll come back tomorrow, focused, and get prepared for Clarion. We have to put our best foot forward.”

The Fighting Scots hosted Clarion University Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at McComb Fieldhouse, the second game in their three-game homestand. They would fall, 93-81. Find the complete story above.

Before the loss, Edinboro had won its last six games against the Golden Eagles.

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