The Shippensburg men’s basketball team split their first two games of the season this past weekend in Virginia at the Trojan Tip-Off Classic hosted by Virginia State University.
SU (1-1) used a team effort to get past Virginia Union on Friday as seven players scored seven or more points. The Raiders shot 76 percent at the free-throw line and turned the ball over just nine times in the win.
Redshirt-freshman Andrew Recchia led the team in scoring in his Raider debut with 15 points in just 12 minutes of action, including a perfect 9-9 from the free-throw stripe. Redshirt-junior Dom Sleva finished with 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds and junior Carlos Carter finished with 10 points, three rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
Virginia Union made only two of their three-point attempts in the game, but they grabbed 22 offensive rebounds that led to 15 second chance points.
The two teams were all knotted at 53-53 with 7:40 remaining in the game, but Shippensburg used a 12-2 run to pull away from the Panthers. SU shot 17-21 from the free-throw line over the final seven minutes of the game to help close it out.
Redshirt-junior Rashon Johnson contributed nine points and freshman Michael Dunn added eight points off the bench. Each player was making their Raider debut.
SU would fall in their second game of the weekend to host Virginia State 85-75.
Junior Luke Nedrow led the Raiders in scoring with 21 points, helped by draining a career-high three three-pointers. Senior Kiyon Hardy added 15 points Carter posted 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Johnson had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Shippensburg trailed by nine heading into halftime, but turned that deficit into a two point lead using a 14-3 run to start the second half.
With 9:36 remaining in the game Virginia State went on a 15-2 run to take a 15 point lead over the Raiders. SU would fight back to cut the lead to five with 85 seconds left in the game, but they would not get any closer.
Francis Fitzgerald scored 23 points for the Trojans and was one rebound shy of a double-double. VSU out-rebounded the Raiders 45-31 and scored 17 second chance points.
Shippensburg will have their home opener on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Heiges Field House as they take on the Wilmington Wildcats.