Men’s basketball faces travel troubles, falls to East Stroudsburg

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 at 5:02 PM

The Edinboro basketball Twitter account posted the following, early Saturday morning: “11 hours on the bus (Stuck 3 Times). Bus breaks down. Walk to nearby hotel. No rooms. Team sleepover in hotel conference room. 6 brave soldiers walk over .5 mile for food & drink. Still no replacement bus. Game shifted to 9pm. WE WON’T GIVE UP!” 

A few hours pass, they send another: “25 hours later & we have arrived in East Stroudsburg!”

The road to the PSAC men’s basketball tournament semifinals was a long journey in more ways than one. Travel complications and weather conditions led to a later-than-expected arrival time at East Stroudsburg University (ESU). 

After all the traveling was done, the Fighting Scots had a semifinal game against the host team to focus on. Before their game, Gannon University and Shippensburg University faced off to determine who would move on to the PSAC championship game. Gannon came out victorious with a score of 81-70.

Before the semifinal game between ESU and ‘Boro, the conference recognized Edinboro senior Mike Beck as the PSAC Men’s Basketball Champion Scholar. Beck — a health and physical education major earning his teacher certification — received the award for having the top GPA of the athletes at the site of the championship finals.

Edinboro began with their usual starting lineup of Keshawn Liggins, Beck, Jaymon Mason, Anthony Coleman and Jack Frank.

“Excited, excited to be there,” said Frank on what was going through his head when he stepped on the court.

Despite that excitement, ESU would have eight points on the board before Beck could sink a 3-point shot for Edinboro’s first bucket. Trey Staunch, Coleman, and Mason would all put up points before a 3-pointer from Liggins started a small scoring run for the Scots. This run would put ‘Boro in the lead after Coleman put up another 3-pointer with 11:16 left in the first half. 

The Scots held their lead until a foul put ESU’s Troy Jones at the line for two with a little under 9 minutes left in the half. This put the Warriors back on top, an advantage they held until the half ended with them up 49-36.

It was Edinboro’s Coleman who would put up another 2 points for the Scots early in the second to answer an early shot from ESU’s Harris. 

With 14:23 left on the clock, freshmen Alex Jay and Jaryn Simpson stepped up and delivered points right after one another, bringing the score to 61-53. 

With 1:38 left on the clock and East Stroudsburg leading 91-73, senior Jaymon Mason exited the court for what would end up being his last time as a Fighting Scot. As he walked to his chair, he hugged every coach and player on the bench. 

The Fighting Scots maintained their strong defense until the very end, which is not uncommon from this collection of players.

“We’re fighting until the end,” stated Coleman in a post-game interview. 

“We never give up,” added Liggins. 

In the end it would be East Stroudsburg who was victorious and would move on to the conference championship game against Gannon University on Sunday. 

Edinboro had been picked to finish eighth at the beginning of the year in the PSAC Western Coaches Division II preseason poll, but made it to the final four. 

“We used it as motivation,” Coleman said about the preseason predictions. 

The loss would mark the end of the season for the Edinboro men’s 2017-2018 team. They concluded with an 18-11 overall record and 13-9 conference record.

Madi Gross can be reached at

Tags: basketball

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