Losing streak extended for men’s basketball

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 at 8:00 AM

Edinboro men’s basketball battled until the final seconds of a 79-73 loss at Slippery Rock on Saturday. The team showed poise and resilience in the face of the green sea that surrounded them at Morrow Fieldhouse, but unfortunately for the Scots, Slippery Rock would pull ahead in the closing moments. The loss marks the eighth consecutive defeat for Edinboro, bringing their record to 5-12 overall and 2-11 in PSAC play. 

However, this loss felt different for the team.

“We put it all on the line and it felt like a step in the right direction,” junior Jaryn Simpson said. “We showed a lot of passion, energy and we never gave up. If we bring this passion for the game every day, we’ll get back on the right track.”

Simpson clearly brought his passion Saturday, totaling 17 points, five assists and four rebounds. Notably, he seemed to will the Scots to an early first half lead, scoring 15 of his 17 points before the intermission. 

Of course, Simpson wasn’t working alone on the court. Sophomore Turner Kurt, who made his return to the starting lineup, led the Scots with 22 points, including 15 from beyond the arc. Kurt would hit a three right as the first half ended to cut the Slippery Rock advantage to one, 38-37. 

Another three from Kurt and a quick bucket from Trey Staunch would give ‘Boro a 42-40 lead early in the second half. The teams would trade baskets until nearly the 17-minute mark, when Staunch would leave the game with an injury. Even though he’d return in a few minutes, Slippery Rock took full advantage and went on a 23-11 run, bringing their lead to 65-51. 

Edinboro certainly showed it was ready to face the adversity, though, going on an 18-5 run of their own to bring the game to 70-69. Daylon Harris and Anthony Allen both had career days on the glass. Alex Jay, playing through his own injury, had a huge put-back bucket to cut the late lead to 74-71. Staunch would finish with 18, and Kameron King would contribute six points, hitting two shots from deep. 

“That ‘next man up’ mentality has to be there for everyone,” Simpson said. “Anyone’s number can get called, and they have to be ready. I think this team is stronger because we all understand that.”

Unfortunately for the Fighting Scots, their efforts would be stifled by Slippery Rock’s ability to answer each bucket in the closing moments. The eight-game losing streak is the longest in nearly a decade for Edinboro. With only nine games remaining on the schedule, the Scots would have to essentially win-out in order to clinch a berth in the PSAC playoffs. 

With their backs against the wall, Edinboro will have to decide what kind of team they want to be for the rest of the season.

“No matter how many unfortunate events knock us down, we will stay competitive,” said Simpson. “If we come with the same intensity that we brought (against Slippery Rock), we’re going to pull off wins people wouldn’t expect.”

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