Despite Simpson's 38, Scots fall 93-81

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 at 6:52 PM
Despite Simpson's 38, Scots fall 93-81 by Paul Petrianni
Jaryn Simpson looks to his teammates during the game against Clarion. | Photo: Zach Mixter

The Fighting Scots men’s basketball team continued their winter woes on Friday, falling to a struggling Clarion University, 93-81.

In a game that was moved up due to forecasted cold and snowy weather, guard Jaryn Simpson was anything but cold. The junior lit up the scoreboard, posting 38 points, knocking down five shots from behind the arc and adding four assists.

“Jaryn is one of the most elite scorers in this league,” stated teammate Trey Staunch. “Not many guards in this league can handle the basketball, run the team’s offense and create a shot for themselves when needed.” Two of his five 3-pointers came back-to-back in the first half, cutting into the early lead created by the Golden Eagles.

In response to the flurry from Simpson, Clarion would apply a full court press, which seemed to make things difficult for the Fighting Scots offense. The press pushed the Scots out of their spots on the offensive side of the ball all night long.

Edinboro leading scorer Anthony Coleman missed his second straight ballgame, so despite the hot shooting from Simpson, at times the ’Boro offense struggled to put the ball in the basket. But even though they trailed from buzzer to buzzer, the Scots never slowed their aggression.

After a nice first-half run from the Scots, which cut a 12-point lead down to eight, Clarion still took a 47-39 lead into the locker room. The Golden Eagles shot an impressive 50% from long range in the first half, while Simpson poured in 22 points on 8-10 shooting, keeping the Scots in the game. ’Boro struggled from the charity stripe, though, shooting only 62 percent in the first half.

The Scots would come out on fire to begin the second half. After a crafty Simpson layup, Alex Jay slashed to the basket and converted while getting fouled. He went to the line and sank the free throw, completing the 3-point play. The Golden Eagles lead was now cut to three, but freshman forward Aaron Hilzendeger caught fire for Clarion. Hilzendeger made big shot after big shot for the Golden Eagles, totaling 16 points on 4-8 shooting from deep.

Whenever the Scots put together a few good possessions, Hilzendeger would walk into a 3-point basket.

At one point, the Golden Eagles would score nine unanswered points, pushing the Clarion lead back to 12. The Scots would claw back to a seven point deficit, but that was as close as the game would ever be.

“With the athletes and athleticism we have, we feel we can make a run come tournament time,” said Staunch. “We just need to get back to the basics and start playing grown man basketball.”

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