Knights looking for a spark


Saturday night’s 69-62 loss to Seton Hill was another frustrating moment for the Gannon University men’s basketball team this season.
The Knights have now lost 10 of their last 11 games, and are struggling to stay afloat in the PSAC West standings with a 2-10 conference mark.
Gannon is 3-12 overall heading into Wednesday’s inaugural Porreco Pride of Erie matchup at rival Mercyhurst. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center.
With the Knights currently sitting last in the PSAC West, their hopes for an NCAA Tournament berth would appear to be out of reach for coach John Reilly’s squad.
In their final Saturday night home game of the season, the Knights were unable to capitalize on their first-half momentum.
Trailing by three at the break, Seton Hill quickly jumped out to a six-point advantage over Gannon after the intermission.
While keeping its deficit at reasonable margin for the rest of the game, Gannon could only get within four points after giving up its lead early in the second half.
Kameron Taylor led the Griffins of Seton Hill with a game-high 22 points.
With only two players averaging double figures this season for the Knights, Gannon has been lacking a big scoring presence for the majority of the year.
However, not all is lost for Reilly and his team. With 11 games left, plus the conference tournament, the second half of the season can be an excellent opportunity for several of his players to stand out above the rest.
Sophomore forward Isaiah Eisendorf proved he could be a strong frontcourt presence on Saturday night, scoring 15 points to go along with six rebounds in 22 minutes of play.
Jean Yves Toupane matched his per-game scoring average with 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
In addition, freshman guards C.J. Asuncion-Byrd and Ian Gardener add depth, and potential, to an upperclassmen-led backcourt.
Wednesday presents an excellent opportunity for the Knights to turn their season around when they take on rival Mercyhurst.
Earlier this week school officials and Bianchi Honda owner Jason Porreco held a press conference to designate the storied rivalry from here on out as the Porreco Pride of Erie Games.
Very similar to how the football teams battle for the Niagara Cup, the winning team will receive a trophy, and hold on to bragging rights until the next meeting.
A “Game Changer Award” will also be presented to the most influential player of the contest.
The press conference also unveiled other festivities that will be taking place surrounding the game, in hopes of generating more excitement around the city rivalry.
Gannon has won the last three meetings against Mercyhurst; however, the Knights have yet to face the Lakers this year.
Damon Jones leads Mercyhurst with a 16.3 point-per-game average while Sean Beins checks in at 13.9 points.
The Lakers have outscored the opposition 75.8 to 61.4 points per game on the season while Gannon has been outscored an average of 72.3 – 63.5.
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