Smith’s game-winner seals Gannon victory


Girbran Smith nailed a 3-pointer with only 16 seconds remaining to give the Gannon University men’s basketball team a 53-51 win over Seton Hill Saturday on the road.

The Knights were trailing by one point after Seton Hill’s senior guard David Windsor drained a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left, but that didn’t rattle senior Adam Blazek.

“After Windsor hit the 3 to put them up I saw that we had 30 seconds or so and we worked for a good shot,” he said. “And Girbran had ice in his veins.

“When he shot it, I knew it was in.”

Smith’s last-minute heroics were much needed for the Knights, coming off a tough 63-58 overtime loss to California University of Pennsylvania.

Smith also had a big game against Cal, recording a game-high 21 points and team-high seven rebounds. Smith currently ranks ninth in the league in scoring by averaging 15.6 points per game.

Blazek alluded to the importance of getting back in the win column in the tight Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division.

“Any road win in this conference is huge and each game now is very intense with the standings the way that they are,” he said.

The Knights currently sit in a three-way tie for first place in the PSAC West with Mercyhurst and IUP. All three teams sport 11-3 conference records.

Slippery Rock, the Knights next opponent, sits close behind with a 10-4 league record. Gannon will travel to take on the Rock at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Gannon will match up against Slippery Rock’s sixth-ranked scoring offense in the conference, but Gannon leads the league in scoring defense by holding teams to 56.8 points per contest.

Then the Knights will return home to face off against rival Mercyhurst at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Hammermill Center.

The next two games will be a telling sign for where the Knights will rank at the end of the season — facing two top-four conference opponents back-to-back.

Blazek said his squad is up for the challenge and looks forward to the atmosphere during his last showdown with Mercyhurst in Gannon’s home gym.

“I think the Hammermill will be filled and the place will be loud,” he said. “Should be an awesome environment and a big home-court advantage for us.”


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