Men’s basketball begins year with 7-0 record


Gannon’s Ike Herster scored 15 points in the Knights’ first win of the season on Jan. 12. against Kentucky State. Gannon will play their next game against D’Youville on Thursday.

Nicholas Frisina, Sports Writer

The Gannon University men’s basketball team extended its season-long winning streak to seven games Tuesday night, defeating D’Youville, 91-81, in Buffalo, N.Y. Chris Clancy led the Knights in scoring with 18 points. Freshman guard Ike Herster pitched in 16 points.

Gannon will return to action at 6 p.m. Thursday against D’Youville at the Hammermill Center.

After a strong 7-0 start, the Knights are ranked No. 21 in the nation, according to the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) NCAA Division II poll.

The Knights started their season against Kentucky State at home. Gannon began its season 2-0 after beating the Thorobreds, 83-58, in the home opener and 76-71 in the second game.

Next, Gannon saw its first ranked opponent of the season on Jan. 29 at No. 25 Daemen College. In a tight contest, Gannon won 76-73.

Gannon and Daemen competed again just two days later, this time in Erie. Unlike the previous game, Gannon seemed to control the game and went on to rout Daemen 95-67. Herster showed out in this game, leading the Knights with 25 points.

With two wins over the 25th-ranked-team in the country, Gannon entered the NABC poll at No. 24.

The team then played Clarion in back-to-back games Wednesday and Saturday.

The first game was an away game for the Knights, but home or away, it does not seem to matter for them this year, as they beat Clarion 72-60 on the Eagles’ home court.

Three days later, Gannon and Clarion played in Erie. Trailing at the half 33-32, Gannon came back to win mightily, 83-63. Herster led the Knights in scoring both games against Clarion with 34 points total.

After stressing the fact that the Knights need to step it up on defense, coach Kelvin Jefferson had some praise for his standout players this season, especially Herster, after the second win against Clarion.

“Always the next shot is going in in his mind,” Jefferson said. “He gave us a huge lift in the second half, and you know, that’s what he’s on the team for.”

Jefferson also had some supportive comments about his sophomore guard Clancy.

“Clancy’s just Clancy; he’s going to do what he does,” Jefferson said. “He’s just a very good player.”

Gannon is off to a pretty remarkable start with its undefeated record. It is the program’s best start to a season since 2012-2013. The Knights’ seven-game win streak is the longest such streak under Jefferson.

Gannon is shooting 43.7% from the 3-point line this season, which ranks third in the nation. The Knights are also averaging 18 assists per game, which ranks seventh in the nation.

Looking forward, the Knights have just five games left on the schedule. After Thursday’s game at D’Youville, the Knights take on Mercyhurst on Saturday and then host Salem at 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 24, at the Hammermill Center.

Gannon will close out the season by hosting rival Mercyhurst on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Hammermill Center.

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