The Gannon University men’s basketball team got a pair of home wins at the Hammermill Center over the weekend, beating Lock Haven, 81-70, Saturday and then turning around and whipping Bloomsburg, 79-66, Sunday afternoon.
The two PSAC victories improved the Knights’ overall record to 4-2 and left them 3-1 in conference play. Gannon returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in a nonconference matchup with Bowie State at the Hammermill Center.
The Knights’ next PSAC action will come at 3 p.m. Saturday against East Stroudsburg at the Hammermill Center.
Damon Miraud and Matthew Dogan each went for a double-double to lead the way in the win over Lock Haven. Miraud finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds while Dogan checked in with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Coach John Reilly is glad to have the two assets of Dogan and Miraud on the team and spoke highly of them.
“Matt brings a lot of experience and determination to the court as a senior and Miraud is one of the team’s best defenders and better rebounders,” Reilly said.
The game was close before Gannon began to pull away at 21-9 11 minutes into the opening half.
However, the Bald Eagles were able to close the gap slightly as the half ended, and the Knights went into intermission with a 35-26 lead. Lock Haven held Gannon in check in the opening stages of the second half, as the Bald Eagles pulled to within four points at 35-31 less than three minutes into the half.
Miraud’s basket gave the Knights a little breathing room and the Knights led by seven before Jimmy Berger’s 3-pointer boosted the lead to 10 at 49-39 with 14 minutes, 6 seconds remaining.
New to the program, Miraud is beginning to become the player the team needs him to be whether it’s on or off the court and he believes the team understands the concept of hard work.
“Every day and game we are learning more and more on how to play with each other, but we are nowhere near our best yet,” Miraud said. “I can’t talk too early about how the season will go but I what I can say is we will be fully prepared for every opponent we face.”
Lock Haven did manage to pull within five points at 57-52 with a little over 6 minutes to play, but Miraud hit a pair of free throws and then a layup to widen the lead to nine at 61-52.
Lock Haven never got closer than eight the rest of the way.
Five players scored in double figures for Gannon. In addition to Miraud and Dogan, Evan Phoenix finished with 17 points while Berger contributed 12 and Zay Jackson 10. With Miraud and Dogan combining for 22 rebounds, the Knights owned a 44-27 rebounding edge over the Bald Eagles.
Sunday evening proved to be another success for the Knights as they topped the Huskies of Bloomsburg.
Dogan parlayed a hot shooting night into 25 points to lead the way for Gannon, which also got 16 points from Phoenix and 12 from Jackson.
Miraud contributed 15 rebounds and Berger added 10 boards to go with 12 assists and six points.
Gannon once again ruled the boards, collecting 42 rebounds to Bloomsburg’s 22.
Gannon used a 16-2 run to turn a 6-4 deficit into a 20-8 lead 8 minutes into the game and built the margin to 17 points at 32-15 with 8 minutes remaining in the half.
But Bloomsburg caught fire and outscored the Knights 19-4 the rest of the half to get within two points at 36-34.
The contest remained close through the first 8 minutes of the second half, as Gannon led just 47-44. But the Knights got hot and used a 25-10 advantage to take control of the game.
As the season continues, Reilly said he is happy with the group so far and sees that they are hard-working, cohesive, coachable and developing a toughness about themselves. He also had nice things to say about the freshmen.
“Hans Burwitz is getting a lot of playing time, Jimmy Berger has been playing great and now starting for us — they’ve been big impact guys for the team,” Reilly said.