The season finale for the Shippensburg University men’s basketball squad spelled doom and gloom as SU could not overcome a half time deficit and eventually fell to Kutztown University Golden Bears 90-77.
Heiges Field House also hosted Senior Day, of which five of the Raiders’ top senior players were honored and paid tribute to before the tip-off against KU.
John Corrigan, Dane Lauber, Will Royal, Jordan Stasyszyn, and Craig Van Scyoc were honored for their basketball careers and smothered with applause and standing ovations from the 615 in attendance.
Things got started right away in favor of the Raiders when the seniors exploded offensively. Will Royal put up SU’s first two points. Lauber put up another field goal after KU missed their first scoring attempt, giving SU a quick 4-0 lead. Then Van Scyoc and Lauber completed back-to-back three-pointers.
SU had a commanding early 15-4 lead after Corrigan completed a three-pointer of his own shortly after. But the Raiders’ offensive explosion would soon begin to unravel when KU began to finally take care of business. KU stormed out of the first half with a 41-37 lead after a successful three-point attempt at the buzzer.
Here is s a familiar scenario: SU trailing by only a few points going into halftime, coming so close in the second half, but ultimately unable to catch the lead. Well, bad news, that was how the rest of the game went for SU.
After KU’s Micah Fraction drained a three-pointer, extending the Bears’ lead, 44-37, Corrigan sank a three-pointer, and Royal put in a layup on their next possession, getting the Raiders within two points, 44-42.
For most of the second half, SU spent their time desperately trying to regain the lead, but only came within three or two points. That’s as close as SU would get.
Despite the tough loss, the five seniors had big days to end their SU basketball careers. Corrigan completed 14 points; Royal had 13; Stasyszyn with 16; Van Scyoc with 9; and Lauber leading the team with a solid 33 points. Nate Edwards led the Golden Bears, scoring 23 points.
With their season at an end, SU finished with a 10-19 record, with a 7-15 PSAC record. KU will likely clinch the top seed in the Eastern Division, hosting East Stroudsburg on Tuesday.