The Gannon University men’s basketball team watched its four-game winning streak disappear with losses to rival Mercyhurst and Millersville last week.
The Knights fell 51-35 to the Lakers across town in the Pride of Porreco game on Jan. 30 and then lost 56-46 to Millersville on the road Saturday.
The 35 total points netted by the Knights during the Porreco Pride of Erie game marks a record low since Dec. 8, 1972.
The rivalry game was a defensive struggle at the outset as neither team scored until the game’s fourth minute.
A 3-pointer by Victor Olawoye pulled Gannon into a 5-5 tie with 14 minutes, 10 seconds remaining in the first half, but the Knights wouldn’t score again until 12 minutes later.
Gannon missed its next 14 shots in a row, a streak that didn’t end until Deante Cisero converted a layup with 2:38 remaining.
In the meantime, the Lakers scored 14 straight points to build a 19-5 lead, and they ultimately settled for a 24-15 lead at intermission after the Knights scored the final six points of the half.
Gannon shot just 19 percent from the floor in the opening half, connecting on 5-of-26 shots, while Mercyhurst converted 10 of 25 for 40 percent.
The Knights got to within five points in the early stages of the second half, but would not get any closer. Mercyhurst led 38-32 with 8:01 remaining, but the Lakers widened their margin as the game went on.
Daryl Porter led Gannon with eight points while Kevin Dodds added six points to go with 10 rebounds.
The Knights shot just 24 percent for the game to Mercyhurst’s 38 percent and were outrebounded by the Lakers, 41-34.
The Knights were able to hold Millersville to 24 points below their season average on Saturday, but this impressive defensive accomplishment didn’t prove enough to get the Knights the win.
Riding a four-game win streak, the Marauders went up 8-0 and after a Dodds basket got the Knights on the board, Millersville scored another eight straight to take a 16-2 lead.
The Knights went on a 9-2 run with Porter hitting a 3-pointer from the right wing and an easy layup down the baseline for Cisero.
Another Dodds layup made it 20-13 with 7:20 left to play in the half.
Matt Johnson cut the lead to seven once again two minutes later and Kofi Mills battled inside for a layup to get the Knights within five points. Millersville recorded the final five points to take a 10-point lead into halftime.
The Marauders went on an 8-0 run at the start of the second half after hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to quickly make it a 41-22 lead. Gannon trimmed the lead to 12 but the Marauders did enough defensively to hold on for the victory.
Porter led Gannon with 14 points while Cisero netted 12 – his first double-digit effort since the IUP game on Jan. 2. The Knights had a better shooting performance against Millersville, finishing with a 37 percent effort, but the Marauders shot 49 percent for the game.
The Knights, 7-12 overall and 5-7 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West, return home to finish the first half of their conference slate against Slippery Rock at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Hammermill Center.
Gannon will then travel to take on Pitt-Johnstown at 3 p.m. Saturday before hosting Seton Hill at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the Hammermill Center.