Shooting to end the season on a high note, the Shippensburg University’s men’s basketball team looked to claim its first PSAC East win when it took the court against Millersville University.
The Raiders battled the entire game and downed the Marauders 92–87 for head coach Chris Fite’s first PSAC victory.
“It’s our last game out there and we wanted to leave it all on the court,” Fite said.
SU came out of the gate a little slow during the opening minutes of the first half, but the momentum of Joe Lococo’s and Keelan Adams’ 3-pointers were enough to lift the Raiders past Millersville to take the lead with over 11 minutes remaining in the half.
It seemed that SU had found its groove but MU was not going to go down without a fight. When it seemed like the Raiders were going to bust the game wide open, the Marauders kept firing back with occasional 3-pointers to keep MU within striking range.
With a little more than five minutes remaining in the first half, Hardy added three dunks to his résumé and gave MU something to think about at the end of the first half other than the 47–33 score.
MU cam out of the half strong and switched to the full court press which game the Raiders so problems. The Raiders found a way to fight through the tough defense and knocked down multiple three-point shots from Hardy, accompanied by field goals from Mark Wilmer, Lococo and Adams, which put SU ahead of MU 72–62 with nine minutes left in regulation.
MU managed to battle back and cut the lead to eight points of the Raiders with less than five minutes to play, SU plucked away and knocked down their foul shots to keep the Marauders at bay.
The Raiders had five players who put up double-digit points Wednesday night.
SU sophomore Jay Hardy was tuned in. Hardy finished the night with 25 points on 4-for-9 from three-point range.
Adding more fuel to the fire was Lococo and Abe Massaley who also turned in a dynamic season-ending performance. Lococo recorded 19 points and 16 rebounds while Massaley notched 16.
The Raiders were able to shut down the playoff bound Marauder squad and cash in their highest point total of the season.
Fite said it felt good to get a win tonight.
“Win or lose, as long as we can come off tonight feeling as though we kind of left it out there, we feel good about ourselves. So I’m glad we got a result,” Fite said.
SU will now return to the drawing board during the long off season and look to be contenders next year.