The path towards toward a PSAC basketball championship continued Tuesday night with three quarterfinal games in action. IUP, Kutztown and Gannon were all victorious and are now set to play in the semifinals this Saturday at Gannon University.
Here’s a recap of last night’s games.
Gannon 71, Slippery Rock 45:
The PSAC West top seed Gannon charged out to a commanding lead early courtesy of hot shooting beyond the arc. The Golden Knights could not miss in the first half, hitting all seven 3-point attempts and hitting nearly 70 percent of their first-half shots in route to a 44-22 halftime advantage.
Adam Blazek led the Golden Knights with 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. Girbran Smith and Raphell Thomas-Edwards also scored in the double digits, adding 16 and 10 points, respectively. The Golden Knights controlled the glass and ended the game with a 35 to 26 advantage in team rebounds.
Antonio Butler was the only scorer in double digits for the Rock, who finishes their season at 20-11.
Gannon (22-8) will now play in their second straight PSAC semi-final after last year’s heartbreaking overtime loss to West Chester.
IUP 67, Mercyhurst 59
Paced by Shawn Dyer’s 23-point, 10-rebound performance, perennial power IUP was able to advance to the semifinal round over the higher seeded Mercyhurst Lakers last night in Erie, Pa. The Crimson Hawks will now meet the winner of the Millersville-East Stroudsburg matchup set for later tonight after inclement weather in the east delayed the game.
In a tight defensive contest, the Crimson Hawks were able to hold the Lakers to 40 percent from the field and dominated the glass by out rebounding the Lakers 37-24. Ultimately it was the Crimson Hawks ability to make their free throws late that sealed the victory, as they went 8-8 in the final minutes and hit 19 of 21 for the game (.917 percent).
This is the 16th semi-final appearance for the Crimson Hawks (26-5) who are 12-4 in the PSAC tournament all-time under head coach Joe Lombardi. Mercyhurst (20-9) finishes their season with 20 wins for the first time in four seasons.
Kutztown 90, West Chester 77 (OT)
The Kutztown Golden Bears were able to outlast the higher seeded West Chester Golden Rams in an overtime thriller at West Chester, 90-77. Tynell Fortune led all scorers with 23 points, helping lead the Golden Bears to their first PSAC semi-final since 2010. Fortune scored eight points in the extra period, as Kutztown was able to pull away late for the victory.
Corey Blake led the Golden rams with 19 points and nine rebounds. West Chester ends their season with a 16-13 record.