Men's basketball finishes season with a pair of losses to PSAC tournament hopefuls

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 at 5:42 PM

Indiana 87, Edinboro 59

The final score wouldn’t be what attracted national news attention on this day. Indiana University of Pennsylvania would forget their uniforms, forced to wear red Edinboro gear. The story would begin on the local levels, getting to national outlets by the next day. 

In the game itself, which Edinboro lost 87-59, the Fighting Scots were unable to avenge their 102-53 defeat from earlier in the season. This would be Edinboro’s senior night, as well.

The Crimson Hawks began the game with a 14-0 run, before a foul on IUP sent ‘Boro’s Trey Staunch to the line for two points. Staunch ended the night with a total of 13 points and six rebounds.

Indiana would lead by 12, but sophomore Fighting Scot Alex Jay would hit two 3-pointers to close the gap to 15-9. Jay had a total of 11 points on the night along with seven rebounds.

With 8:06 left in the first half, a foul behind the arc sent Jaryn Simpson to the line for three shots; he made them all. Simpson was the Fighting Scots’ top scorer on the night with 17. This closed the Crimson Hawks’ lead to 24-15. They would build it back up to 25 by the half. 

Junior Malik Miller was responsible for 14 of IUP’s 49 points at the half. Miller would be the top scorer, netting 26 at the end of the night. Senior Jacobo Diaz also finished in the double digits at the half with 12. Diaz would record 16 points on the night, as well as a near triple-double (nine rebounds and nine assists).

IUP led throughout the second half of the game and was able to push ahead by 30 points several times. 

A small bright spot was Edinboro leading in points off turnovers with 13. They also had 20 points in-the-paint in the second half. 

Recognition of Edinboro senior Jack Frank occurred prior to tip-off. Frank — an accounting major — would be walked out onto the court by his coaches and teammates.

After this game, the Fighting Scots men’s basketball team moved to 9-16 overall and 6-14 in the PSAC. The win pushed No. 2 IUP to 25-2 overall and 18-2 in the PSAC.

Edinboro traveled to Mercyhurst on March 2 for the final game of their season.

Mercyhurst 85, Edinboro 62

The last time local rivals Edinboro and Mercyhurst matched up on Jan. 30 at McComb Fieldhouse, the Lakers took home a 90-59 win. The Lakers would recently nab another victory in the series, 85-62, but this time on their home court. 

After leading early, Edinboro would trail by only nine at the end of the first half. The Fighting Scots had a total of 16 points in the paint, nine points off second chances and seven points off forced turnovers in the first. 

Fighting Scot Trey Staunch’s name was announced several times over the speakers throughout the afternoon, as he led in scoring with a total of 21 points, 14 of which happened in the first half. The senior also flirted with a double-double as he grabbed a total of nine rebounds.

Staunch found himself at the line early in the second. After sinking two shots, the Lakers led 44-31 with 17:55 left on the clock. Edinboro’s Steven Freeman put up a string of 3-pointers toward the middle of the second to close the gap to 54-44. He would have a total of 15 points on the night along with six rebounds. 

Like Staunch, sophomore Jaryn Simpson would find himself standing at the line several times during this game. The sophomore had a total of 16 points and four rebounds, and he was a perfect 5-for-5 from the charity stripe.

In the end, it would be the Lakers who came out on top, moving to 20-6 overall (15-6 in the PSAC). This would be the Fighting Scots’ last game of the season, ending their year at 9-17 overall and 6-15 in the PSAC.

Simpson received postseason accolades as he led the team in assists and steals. He was named to the All-PSAC West second team. The sophomore started in every game this season and recorded Edinboro’s first triple-double since the 2007-08 season.

Madi Gross | sports.spectator@gmail.com

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