Men's basketball winter break recap

Category:  Sports
Thursday, January 24th, 2019 at 9:38 AM
Men's basketball winter break recap by Madi Gross
Photo: Ben McCullough

Before the start of winter break, the Edinboro men’s basketball team faced off against East Stroudsburg University at McComb Fieldhouse on Dec. 8. The team fell, 86-76, despite four of the Fighting Scots scoring in double digits. 

Sophomore Jaryn Simpson recorded 28 points and shot 11-for-11 at the free-throw line. Junior transfer students DeAnthony Owens (12 points) and Daylon Harris (10 points) were also among the top contributors. 

Steven Freeman recorded a total of 11 points in this game for Edinboro and shot 7-of-7 in free throws. Sophomore Alex Jay recorded 11 rebounds. 

Edinboro was outscored in the paint, 46-22.East Stroudsburg also led in fast-break points, 17-6.

After this game Edinboro sat at 3-4 overall and 1-2 in the PSAC.

As one of the several transfer students to join this team’s roster, Harris has made an impact with a total of 99 points for the team so far. He discussed how his teammates and coaches have had an impact on his transfer and his return to the sport. 

“We’re just real close,” Harris said. “All of our teammates like each other.” 

He explained that he and his teammates have a lot of fun together: “I feel like the fact that we’re all together makes things easier. We hold each other accountable for everything that we do on and off the court.”

Since the season started, the junior transfer has gotten the opportunity to play a total of 288 minutes on the court for Edinboro. “It’s kind of shocking to be honest,” Harris elaborated. 

“With me sitting out a year I feel like my game is decreased a little bit, but I’m starting to get back into a rhythm, so the fact that coach trusts me shows a lot.”

Teammate Freeman has had a similar experience with his transfer to the team. “They helped me in various different ways,” Freeman began. “At first I was more laid back and stand-offish. Like, we’d be done with practice and I’d be done talking and I’d be back in my room.”

Freeman listed the many ways in which his team helped him become more acclimated: “We talk, we laugh, we joke. I actually come early just to see them. We have fun at practice.” 

“My goals coming in was first and foremost to make it onto the court, earn playing time and just be the best I can be,” Freeman stated. He has achieved that goal with having just under 200 minutes of play time for the Fighting Scots and scoring over 60 points this season. 

Only a few short days after the 2018 winter commencement was held in McComb Fieldhouse the Fighting Scots men’s basketball team returned to the fieldhouse and recorded a win as they faced off against Mansfield University. Within this 82-73 win against the Mounties, senior Trey Staunch matched his career high of 22 points. 

Edinboro again had several players scoring in the double digits for this game as Owens had a total of 18 points and Simpson recorded a total of 12 points. The Mounties recorded a total of 27 points due to turnovers and a total of 15 fast break points as opposed to Edinboro’s zero. In this game the Fighting Scots had a total of 40 bench points. When the final buzzer sounded Edinboro’s record was 4-4 overall. The team’s PSAC record remained the same due to the matchup being a non-PSAC game.

On Dec. 19 the Edinboro men’s basketball team played their last game for the 2018 year against Lock Haven University at home. The Fighting Scots would fall 86-81 in a back-and-forth game. Freshman Turner Kurt contributed to Edinboro’s 81 points in this game with a total of 16 of his own. Alongside Kurt, several other Fighting Scots scored over double digits including Owens (14 points), Simpson (16 points) and Staunch (11 points). 

Edinboro recorded a total of 33 bench points in this game versus Lock Haven’s 17 bench points, but Lock Haven would record more points in the paint (44 points) and fast break points (13 points) than Edinboro. Towards the last 2 minutes a handful of fouls on Edinboro would push Lock Haven ahead at the end of the game. 

Sophomore Simpson recorded 13 rebounds in this game, a season high for him. After starting every game during his freshman year and every game thus far, Simpson has accumulated over 950 minutes playing for Edinboro. 

“It means a lot because in high school I wasn’t really recruited so I didn’t know where I was going to go [or] if I was going to continue playing basketball,” he said. “So to be honored with these minutes is a lot to me.”

After this game Edinboro’s overall record moved to 4-5 overall and 1-3 in the PSAC.

On the second day of 2019 the men’s team returned to McComb Fieldhouse for their last home game of winter break. California University of Pennsylvania took the win for this game with a final score of 90-66. 

Again, several of the Fighting Scots recorded points in the double digit mark this game with Harris scoring 23 points. Simpson recorded a total of 11 points in this game and collected 5 rebounds. Although Edinboro had a total of 19 bench points opposed to the Vulcan’s 5, Brent Pegram scored a total of 34 points alone for the Vulcans in this game. 

CalU used their turnovers wisely as they had a total of 27 points come from flipping possession of the ball. Edinboro and Cal both recorded a total of 38 points in the paint. After this game Edinboro sat 4-6 overall and 1-4 in the PSAC.

The Fighting Scots began their first of three road games in a row at Seton Hill University on Saturday, Jan. 5. After a well-fought game where Edinboro led in both bench points (26) and points in the paint (42) the fighting scots fell 77-73 to Seton Hill. Fighting Scots Simpson, Kurt and Staunch all recorded points in the double digits in this game. Simpson shot 8-of-11 at the line, which helped towards the end of the game when both teams got into foul trouble several times in the last seconds of the game. After this game, Edinboro sat 4-7 overall and 1-5 in the PSAC.

On their second of three road games in a row, the Fighting Scots traveled the long journey to Kutztown University. The Fighting Scots would record a loss for this game with a final score of 87-48. Staunch was the only Fighting Scot to record points in the double digits for this game with a total of 14. Simpson recorded a total of 8 points in this game and Jay a total of 6 points. 

At the half, the Golden Bears led 38-24 and returned to score a total of 49 points in the second half. Edinboro recorded a total of 18 points in the paint, 21 bench points and 7 second chance points. After this game Edinboro sat 4-8 overall and 1-6 in the PSAC.

Two days before classes began for the spring semester this men’s team traveled for their last road game before returning home. While at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown the Fighting Scots fought hard but at the final buzzer the score sat 100-88 with UPJ on top.

Underclassmen Simpson (33 points) and Kurt (18 points) recorded over half of the Fighting Scots’ points themselves. With his 18 points, Kurt also recorded a career high for himself. Senior Staunch added 12 points to the board. Junior Freeman added another 11 points to the team’s total of 88 overall points. 

Due to some foul trouble, the Fighting Scots were at the line quite a bit, accumulating points many times. Simpson sunk a total of 13 of his attempted 14 free throws. Out of his five attempted shots at the line, Staunch made 4. Jay added 2 points from the line and Freeman another point. 

Alongside his 33 points Simpson also recorded 11 rebounds. In the end Edinboro’s 13 points from turnovers, 8 points from second chances, 15 points off the bench and 26 points in the paint were not enough to pull the Fighting Scots ahead in this contest. After this game Edinboro sat 4-9 overall and 1-7 in the PSAC.

As classes began again on Jan. 14 the men’s basketball team returned home the same week to face off against local rival Gannon University. At the end of this game the Golden Knights took the win with an 8-point lead in the end with a final score of 87-79. As Gannon opened scoring 20 seconds into this game Simpson responded with a 3-point shot 15 seconds later. By the end of the half Edinboro led 40-31 over the Golden Knights. 

Harris opened up scoring in the second with a layup, but with 14:28 left on the clock Gannon’s Victor Olawoye sunk a 3-pointer bringing the score to a tied 48. Kevin Dodds of Gannon put up points after a fast break less than a minute after. This would start the lead the Golden Knights held onto until the final buzzer of this game. 

Foul trouble in the last 30 seconds of the game would put Gannon at the line shooting four different times resulting in a total of 7 points. Two Fighting Scots – Simpson (24) and Staunch (20) – scored points over the teens in this game. Freshman Kurt added 15 points of his own. In the end Edinboro trailed by a short 8 points and their record pushed to 4-10 overall and 1-8 in the PSAC.

Madi Gross | sports.spectator@gmail.com

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