The Shippensburg University men’s basketball team began its season with a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship in mind.
The Raiders took their first step this weekend, posting impressive wins over Penn State Wilkes-Barre and Penn State Fayette in the annual Wolf’s Bus Line Classic Tournament at Heiges Field House.
The Raiders’ season started against Penn State Wilkes-Barre. They used a strong second half to roll past the Roaring Lions, 94–72. Dustin Sleva had a standout performance for the Raiders, scoring 24 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in the win. The game also featured a monumental milestone in guard Abe Massaley’s SU career.
Massaley scored his 1,000th-career point on a second-half basket, becoming the 29th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark.
The game was a back-and-forth affair in the first half that featured two scorers trading baskets. Sleva hit six shots from the field and went into the locker room with 15 points, while Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s Christopher Cantine matched Sleva, draining two 3-pointers and adding seven points at the free-throw line.
In the second half, it was a different story. The Raiders continued to execute and Penn State Wilkes-Barre failed to keep it going. SU found an answer for Cantine, limiting him to just three points in the second half. The Roaring Lions were unable to hit a shot from 3-point range in the second half.
The Raiders shot 44.4 percent from the floor in the second half, including 80 percent from the charity stripe. SU added 16 free-throw points in the second half.
Sleva’s 24 points and 17 rebounds led the way for the Raiders, while Antonio Kellem also put together a strong game. Kellem finished with 16 points and four rebounds in the win, while shooting 62.5 percent from the floor.
On Saturday, the Raiders battled Penn State Fayette. Once again, the Raiders dominated the competition. SU got out to an early 23–0 lead on the way to a 98–34 shellacking of the Lions.
Massaley put together a sensational game, scoring 23 points on 7-of-9 shooting. He also added four assists, three rebounds and two steals.
Sleva put together another strong performance against Penn State Fayette, picking up 15 points, 12 rebounds and three steals in only 21 minutes.
The early first-half run set the tone for the Raiders and the Lions were never able to recover. The Lions struggled all night to get buckets to fall, shooting an abysmal 17.5 percent from the field in the contest.
On the other hand, SU shot 51.6 percent in the contest, including 46.7 percent from three-point range.
Kellem joined Sleva and Massaley again, scoring 17 points along with four assists, three steals and three rebounds.
Massaley, Sleva and Kellem were all named to the All-Tournament Team, while Sleva was named MVP of the 2016 Wolf’s Bus Line Classic Tournament.
The Raiders’ (2–0, 0–0 PSAC) next game will be at Heiges Field House against PSAC West foe Slippery Rock University. The matchup will open up conference play for the Raiders. Tipoff is set for Saturday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m.