The Shippensburg University men’s basketball team took the floor Friday night to host Chestnut Hill University in both teams’ first game of the 2012 Wolf’s Bus Lines Classic.
The Raiders, ranked seventh in the PSAC East in the preseason coaches’ poll, took on the Griffins, ranked third in the CACC South preseason coaches’ poll. The Griffins finished the 2011-2012 season at 18-12, while the Raiders finished 10-18.
The Griffins came into Friday’s game with a 1-1 record, beating West Chester University 62-61 and losing to Stonehill College 78-59.
The Raiders won the tip and came out hitting some key shots that were equally matched by the
Griffins. The Raiders only had a 50 percent field goal average in the first half. Along with a 22 percent 3-point average and an 82 percent average in free throws. The Raiders went into halftime winning 38-36.
The Raiders came out of the break a little flat and CHU outshot them. SU center Dylan Edgar was injured late in the second half with what looked like an ankle injury, he did not return for the rest of the game but he came out in OT on crutches to watch his teammates make a comeback. The Raiders only had a 32 percent field goal average in the second half, 18 percent less than the first half. They averaged 25 percent in 3-pointers, up three percent from the first half; they went down from 82-71 percent in their free throw average as well. The Raiders were outscored in the second half 34-32, ending regulation in a 70-70 tie.
Overtime started with the Griffins winning the tip and making a clutch 3-point shot. The Raiders answered with a field goal and a few key stops. The Raiders took advantage of opportunities from the charity strike. The Raiders prevailed in overtime winning the game 86-83.
Sophomore guard Reggie Charles led the Raiders in total points with 18; he also totaled six assists and two blocks. His freshman teammate Joe Lococo had 15 total points and two steals. Two Raiders had 13 points, junior center Dylan Edgar and sophomore guard Akil Anderson who came off the bench late in the game and hit nearly every shot he took. Freshman guard/forward Jay Hardy put up 10 points and two steals for the Raiders, most of them coming in OT.
On Saturday, Salem International University rallied to beat the Shippensburg University men’s basketball team, 71-60, for the finale of the Wolf’s Bus Lines Classic at the Heiges Field House.
The Raiders opened the game on a 17-2 run despite its junior big man, Dylan Edgar, sitting on the bench in street clothes and a walking boot. Edgar’s injury forced head coach Dave Springer to start three freshmen alongside sophomores, Reggie Charles and Akil Anderson.
The first-half charge was led by SU freshman guard Jay Hardy’s 10 points.
Charles, the nucleus of the team’s offense, played only 16 minutes due to foul trouble and a taped-up right wrist. SU’s inexperience started to show in the second half when Salem International turned up the full-court pressure during the absence of the Raiders’ main ball handler, Charles.
Redshirt freshman Tyhiem Perrin’s effort helped protect the Edgar-less paint by altering a number of shots, blocking a few and playing on both ends with tremendous energy. Perrin finished the night with 12 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocked shots and 2 steals.
Freshman guard Joe Lococco led all scorers with 16 points and handled the ball down the stretch after Charles fouled out for the second consecutive game of the young season.
The freshmen trio of Lococco, Perrin and Hardy combined for 42 of the 60 points.
After escaping the first game of the Wolf’s Bus Lines Classic with an 86-83 overtime win against Chestnut Hill, the Raiders showed that they are going to miss last year’s leading scorers, Will Royal, Jordan Stasyszyn, Dane Lauber and Craig Van Scyoc.
The Raiders will continue the 2012-2013 season searching for a go-to scorer to compliment Charles, one of the PSAC’s best point guards. Lococco showed he can hit from deep and Hardy will continue to look for his nitch in the offense as the season progresses.
Trouble beating the press and missing free throws down the stretch are usually characteristics of an inexperienced team. This Raider’s squad may be young, but with time to gel and the return of their 6-foot-10-inch center, Edgar, SU has the talent to be competitive this year.
The Raiders take on Penn State Mont Alto at Heiges Field House on today before a 10-day break between games for Thanksgiving.