Playing a full 40-minute game is the difference between adding a notch into the win or loss column.
On Saturday afternoon the Shippensburg University men’s basketball team fought valiantly for the full 40 minutes, seizing the lead with 10 seconds remaining en route to a 79–76 victory over Mansfield University at Heiges Field House.
After a nip-and-tuck battle throughout, the Raiders saw multiple leads vanish. That is until freshman Joe Lococo struck with a deep two-pointer with 10 seconds left, giving the Raiders a 78–76 lead. After a defensive stop, Sam Pygatt clutched the most important rebound of the game — a rebound that allowed him to ice the game from the free-throw line.
SU built a 10-point lead early in the second half but the Mountaineers hiked back, tying the game at 67 after a two-pointer from Onyema Utti.
From that point on the drama enfolded.
Like two heavyweight boxers in the ring, the two teams exchanged blows throughout the next five minutes. MU built a four-point lead with 3:30 remaining but SU struck back with Lococo and a two-pointer from Akil Anderson.
The Raiders countered with a three-point lead but MU did not budge. A Charles Becoats’ 3-pointer knotted the game at 74 and after free-throws set the game to a 76–76 tie, Lococo worked his magic.
Coming off of a screen, the freshman caught, shot and hit nothing but net as an MU defender draped him. Lococo finished the game with a game-high 20 points.
Five of the Raiders scored in double-digits in Saturday’s victory. Reggie Charles and Akil Anderson notched 16 and 14 respectively.
Joe Bell finished the game with a team-high 18 points for the Mountaineers. Chuck Harper finished the game with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
The Raiders (4-11, 2-9 PSAC) will be back in action Wednesday night at 8 p.m. when they host the West Chester University Golden Rams at Heiges Field House. WCU is coming off of a 68-64 loss to Millersville University.