Men’s basketball beats Clarion by 18

Men’s basketball beats Clarion by 18

The Gannon University men’s basketball team had a bit of a rough semester break, but the Knights have rebounded in a big way by winning their last four in a row.
Gannon’s most recent triumph came in a 66-48 defeat of Clarion Monday at the Hammermill Center, a win that pushed the team’s overall record to 7-10 and left it with a 5-6 mark in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play going into Wednesday’s 7:30 p.m. Porreco Pride of Erie matchup at rival Mercyhurst.
The win over Clarion came five days after the Knights defeated Edinboro, 87-79, on the road.
Gannon’s 18-point victory over Clarion was its largest of the season, and the 48-point effort on the defensive end marked the fewest points allowed by Gannon this season.
Gannon broke ahead early after going down 4-0 at the start. Daryl Porter, who led Gannon with a game-high 23 points, hit a jumper followed by a 3-pointer from Joe Fustine at the 12:37 mark to make it 13-4.
Clarion edged closer, cutting the lead to eight, but that was the closest the Golden Eagles would get. Daniel Sapp hit a pair of free throws to put the margin back up to 11 at 21-10 with 5:22 left in the half. The Knights would lead by double digits the rest of the way.
Sapp added another five points before the end of the half, giving the Knights a 30-14 lead before break.
Clarion pulled to within 11 with 11:25 to play, and the lead bounced between 11 and 13 over the next six minutes.
Porter hit several jumpers at the close of the game to give the Knights a comfortable victory. Matt Johnson added 12 points for Gannon while Kevin Dodds led the team in rebounds with nine.
The Knights recorded more offensive rebounds (16) than the Golden Eagles had defensive (14).
Impressive teamwork was the secret sauce to the Knights’ victory against Edinboro with a season-high 18 assists on 31 made buckets.
Porter hit the opening basket and then gave Gannon the lead back with another jumper a minute later. Johnson broke a tie with a 3-pointer to make it 12-9 at the 15:27 mark.
But the Fighting Scots got hot and scored 14 of the final 16 points of the half to build a 40-31 lead.
A basket at the start of the second half gave Edinboro its largest lead at 42-31, but Gannon began closing in with a 3-pointer from Fustine and a Dodd bucket to make it a six-point game.
Porter and Victor Olawoye triggered a 16-0 run for the Knights, and they went on to build a 14-point lead at one point.
Olawoye’s 23 points paced the Gannon attack while Porter added 17, Johnson 15 and Fustine 11.
Following Wednesday’s game with Mercyhurst, Gannon will return to action at 3 p.m. Saturday at Millersville before hosting Slippery Rock at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30.
KEEFER GREGOIRE
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