Men's Basketball Struggles with Hurst's Stifling Defense

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 at 6:35 PM
Men's Basketball Struggles with Hurst's Stifling Defense by Michael McLaughlin
Henri Wade-Chatman had a team high 19 points in the loss to Mercyhurst (Contributed/EU Sports Information).

Mercyhurst held Edinboro men’s basketball to a season low 47 points on Saturday Jan. 30, as the Fighting Scots fell 72-47. The Scots are now 12-7 overall and 11-5 in the PSAC west.

Head coach Pat Cleary said Friday every game is a battle, and it seems as if every game is getting tougher as they continue. He knew going into this game against Mercyhurst that it was not going to be easy, not by any means.

The Fighting Scots were riding a three-game winning streak coming into Saturday, but Mercyhurst, who leads NCAA Division II in scoring defense, had plans to stop that streak after giving up 77 points to Edinboro in their last meeting. Those 77 points were a season high for the Lakers.

The Scots only shot 33 percent on the day and were outrebounded 45-24.

“It wasn’t the shots for the most part, it was the intensity. Just making the hustle plays we didn’t make,” Cleary said.

The first half saw several lead changes between the teams, and Henri Wade-Chatman scored 14 of his 19 points during that time. The Lakers ended the half on an 8-4 run, leading 34-27 at halftime. They never looked back.

Cleary said at halftime they drew up some stuff on the board and showed the team what they wanted them to do, but they were not able to execute on the floor and not well enough to take home the win.

Mercyhurst opened the second half on a 7-3 run and extended their lead to 41-30. Tommy Scales followed with a layup to bring Edinboro within nine points, but the Scots would get no closer than that for the rest of the game.

The Lakers used a 13-2 run to increase their lead to 20, leading by 27 at one point on their way to the win.

When the team went down by 20, Cleary took a timeout and in the huddle, he said, “We need to start playing with more pride; we need to be able to make more hustle plays, and we need to be more accountable.”

Wade-Chatman and Jaymon Mason came into the game as the PSAC’s leading scoring tandem, but combined for only 26 on the day. In the second half, the two of them went 3-16 on field goals and one for five from behind the arc for eight points.

Mason’s seven points were a season low for him and it was the second time this season he was held under double-digits in scoring.

Cleary noted the Lakers didn’t do anything specific to shut down Mason during the game.

“The game was more about what we didn’t do than what Mercyhurst did. We just didn’t play Edinboro basketball,” Cleary said.

Michael McLaughin is the Sports Editor for The Spectator and he can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

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