Scots b-ball struggles continue against Pitt-Johnstown

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 at 8:25 PM

The Edinboro University men’s basketball team kicked off a two-game road trip with a loss to the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, 98-73. The loss brought the Scots to 5-15 overall and 2-14 in PSAC play. 

The Fighting Scots came out of the gate sizzling hot, at one point going up by 10 points, 35-25. Pitt-Johnstown would answer and take a 52-49 halftime lead. 

The 49 points scored are the most in any half this season by the Scots. That kind of up-tempo pace would be crucial against Pitt-Johnstown, as the Mountain Cats came into the match-up as the hottest shooting team in PSAC play, hitting nearly 52% on the season. 

“When a team is shooting lights out like that, we need to be able to square them up, one-on-one, and contest every shot,” said forward Trey Staunch. “We wanted to try to run them off the 3-point line. Teams are going to make tough shots here and there, but we can limit them.”

Unfortunately for the Scots, their strategy didn’t pan out as hoped. The Mountain Cats went 9-20 from deep and shot at a nearly 60 percent clip for the game. 

Staunch would lead the way for the Fighting Scots, totaling 18 points and seven rebounds. 

“I go into every game with the same mentality, that I’m the best player at my position,” he said. “I want to do everything I can to help our team win. When we go against a team that’s very good and very well coached, I try to come in with an extra chip on my shoulder.”

Edinboro would also receive meaningful contributions from their backcourt pairing of Jaryn Simpson and Anthony Coleman. Simpson would finish with 15 points and Coleman with 16. The pair would each bring in five boards. 

As has been the trend for Edinboro of late, this was a tale of two halves. In the first, the Scots found themselves in a Rocky-esque fight, with the underdog and favorite trading blows early and often. Unlike Rocky however, the underdog would eventually heed to the greater force as time wore on. 

Against Pitt-Johnstown, the Scots started the second half with a marginal deficit, but came out cold and allowed the Mountain Cats to build a lead. Five minutes into the second, Pitt-Johnstown had pushed the lead to double-digits, and the Scots would only be able to get as close as seven for the remainder of the game. 

“We need to play with the same energy and fire we do in the first half,” Staunch said. “The second half is where games are won and lost, and if we want to get a win, we need to bring that same energy. We’re struggling right now, but we just need to find a way to play with energy and passion.”

Edinboro’s 11-game losing streak is tied for the longest in school history, but they have perhaps their best opportunity to snap it against the 4-19 Clarion Golden Eagles on Wednesday Feb. 12 (after The Spectator’s press deadline).

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