Men's Basketball Battles Back Late, Victorious in Overtime

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 at 7:23 PM

On an action packed night at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, the men’s basketball team made a comeback, forcing the game into overtime and came out victorious.

Retaining third place in the PSAC West standings and remaining in the chase for a bye in the playoffs, the Fighting Scots had to make some early adjustments to their offense to end their road trip on a high note.

Jaymon Mason found his shooting touch early in the game against the Mountain Cats, keeping Edinboro within reasonable distance to UPJ.

Poor shooting to start the game put Edinboro in trouble early. After leading 2-0, Edinboro found themselves trailing the Mountain Cats for nearly the entirety of regulation.

Mason finished with a game-high 34 points and recorded his third double-double of the season. Mason needed nine free throws to break the single-season record for most in a season and came away with 7.

“With the way we have been playing, I don’t want to say we can come back from anything, but we’re prepared for a ton of different scenarios,” Head Coach Pat Cleary said.

Senior guard Henri Wade-Chatman found himself having a tough shooting night, shooting 29 percent and 4-14 from the field.

Cleary thought he made up for it on the other side of the ball. Allowing the defense to have flexibility, the Scots were switching four out of the five positions on defense, leaving Wade-Chatman isolated on UPJ’s best low post scoring forward.

Regardless of the size advantage, Wade- Chatman didn’t let UPJ utilize the mismatch by fronting the post and using his athleticism to disrupt passes.

The Fighting Scots also had some trouble early with University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown’s trapping defense.

Anytime Edinboro would dump the ball into the post, specifically to Tommy Scales, the Mountain Cats would collapse on the ball to try and force a turnover.

“We scramble out of it in a formation and when we get it the right way, he knows where his outlet lanes are,” Cleary said. “We knew through the scouts that they double when the ball goes in the post.”

After missing two months of the season, sophomore forward Quinn Lee Yaw continued to improve every night, gaining confidence and momentum as the PSAC playoffs get closer.

Coming through big for the Scots late in the second half, Lee Yaw’s fast break dunk tied the game at 65 with only 38 seconds to go.

Much of the Edinboro’s offense stemmed from Mason pick and rolls, especially as the time was winding down late in the second half. The final play of regulation followed a similar game plan.

UPJ’s hesitancy to bring an extra defender and give Edinboro open shots from the perimeter allowed Mason room to work his defender. As the primary ball handler for most of the pressure situations, Mason had good control of the ball, only giving up four turnovers.

“He has enough size to see over it, get between it and enough size to go through it,” Cleary said.

After hurting the Scot at home in their last meeting, Nate Snodgrass had more difficulty finding the bottom of the net this time around.

Much of the team’s success slowing him down came from a sound defensive showing from Michael Beck. They would pick up Snodgrass early in the game and made it nearly impossible for him to find a rhythm.

Mike Lantinen is a Staff Writer for The Spectator.

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