The Shippensburg University men’s basketball team came up just short in a league clash at West Chester on Monday night, falling 71-70 to the Golden Rams in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division matchup at Hollinger Field House.
Shippensburg (15-8, 12-6 PSAC) and West Chester (14-9, 8-9 PSAC) each had a double-digit advantage at one point in the game and yet exchanged the lead four times. The contest was also tied eight times – including three times in the final 3:53.
The first half was a sum of two big runs. After the first 10 minutes, the Raiders led 22-8. The Golden Rams closed the half on a 28-5 run, which included 17 straight WCU points, to lead 36-27 at the break.
In the second half, the Raiders shot 61.5 percent from the field, including 3-of-7 from three-point range, to outscore the Golden Rams by seven. The Raiders regained the lead with 2:45 remaining, but the Golden Rams re-claimed the lead late. After drawing an offensive foul with 12 seconds left, SU got the ball with the chance to win, but could not convert the game-winning shot.
Graduate Jake Biss had a game-high 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting and contributed three rebounds, three assists and two steals in a full 40 minutes.
Redshirt-junior Rashon Johnson dropped a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double, his second in-a-row and his eighth of the season. Johnson also had two assists and two steals.
Junior Carlos Carter shot 6-of-9 from the field and 2-of-2 from three-point range. He finished with 14 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Senior Kiyon Hardy put up 12 points, four rebounds and four assists. Redshirt-junior Dom Sleva had nine points, seven rebounds and an assist while shooting 4-of-7 from the field.
Shippensburg’s Achilles heel on Monday was its free-throw shooting, as the Raiders missed out on 12 points by going 11-of-23 (48 percent) at the line. SU committed just five turnovers, its third time this season committing five or fewer in a game.
For West Chester, Matt Dade contributed 16 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Jamil Manigo dropped 12 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Robert Smith put up 12 points. Eli Barrett had seven points and 11 rebounds. The Golden Rams won the glass, 42-31.
Shippensburg has its divisional “bye” on Wednesday and will next play at 3 pm Saturday at Bloomsburg.