- Score: at Gannon 61, No. 5 Indiana (Pa.) 56
- Records: Gannon (4-4, 4-0 PSAC), Indiana (Pa.) (7-2, 1-2 PSAC)
- Location: Erie, Pa. – Hammermill Center
- The Short Story: Senior Raphell Thomas-Edward’s (Leicester, England/The Gateway School) third double-double (22 points and 12 rebounds) on perfect 9-of-9 shooting combined with a huge 41-20 rebounding advantage propelled the Gannon men’s basketball team to a 61-56 overtime victory against fifth-ranked Indiana (Pa.) Saturday night at the Hammermill Center. The fierce battle featured 20 lead changes and 10 ties.
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HOW IT HAPPENED
- Indiana (Pa.) initially opened the game with a 9-4 run during the first four minutes and three seconds. It represented the biggest lead for either team until midway through the second half.
- Gannon answered with six consecutive points on baskets from senior A’Darius Porter(Stockbridge, Ga./Woodland), junior Tony Boykins (Kalamazoo, Mich./Loy Norrix) and senior Adam Blazek (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Prep). The last field goal pushed the Golden Knights in front 10-9 at the 13:53 mark.
- Neither team had leads bigger than three points the rest of the half. Gannon’s biggest advantage was 14-11 with 10:31 left in the first half. IUP’s biggest lead was three points at the 4:03 (19-16), 3:06 (21-18) and 1:50 (23-20) marks.
- Trailing 23-20, Gannon moved back ahead after a jumper and lay-up from junior Jean Yves Toupane (Dakar, Senegal/Lee (Maine) Academy).
- IUP regained the lead on Devante Chance’s three-pointer with 31 seconds left, but a lay-up by redshirt senior Rich Austin (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) with six ticks remaining pushed the rivals into halftime tied at 26.
- The visitors appeared to take control midway through the second half. Trailing 32-31, IUP rattled off seven consecutive points. A jumper by Chance pushed the Crimson Hawks’ lead to 38-32 with 10:36 to play.
- IUP assumed the biggest lead of the evening by either team when Brandon Norfleet drilled a three-pointer, giving the Crimson Hawks a 47-40 lead at the 7:33 mark. It was the third consecutive three-pointer by IUP.
- Gannon answered by holding IUP scoreless for the next four minutes and 36 seconds. The Golden Knights pulled within one point after field goals by Blazek, redshirt freshman Marcus Jones (Brantford, Ontario/Athlete Institute Academy) and Thomas-Edwards. A free throw by Porter with 3:47 left in the second half capped the run and forged the sixth tie of the evening.
- Trailing 49-47, two Thomas-Edwards free throws with 1:15 to play tied the contest again.
- After a defensive stop, senior Girbran Smith (Nassau, Bahamas/Seton (Ill.) Academy) put Gannon in front with an unbelievable jumper from the left baseline against heavy defensive pressure.
- However, IUP answered with the game-tying shot. With great defense around the perimeter, Chance drove down the left side of the lane and calmly converted a tough lay-up with two seconds left to force overtime. It represented IUP’s first field goal in seven minutes and 31 seconds.
- The extra session included another six lead changes and two ties. Daddy Ugebede’s lay-up with 1:30 showing on the clock gave IUP its final lead at 56-55.
- Thomas-Edwards punched back with a lay-up 17 seconds later to put Gannon back on top 57-56.
- Following a missed three-pointer by IUP, Thomas-Edwards scored again off an offensive rebound for a 59-56 lead with 19 seconds left.
- Chance missed a potential game-tying three-pointer on IUP’s next possession, before two free throws by Smith iced the 61-56 victory.
- Saturday’s game featured 20 lead changes and 10 ties.
- Gannon out-rebounded IUP 41-20, including a 17-4 edge in offensive rebounds. The performance led to an 18-6 edge in second-chance points.
- The rebounding difference was Gannon’s best since the Golden Knights produced a 52-27 advantage during a 68-41 victory against Cheyney January 8 at Penn State Behrend’s Junker Center.
- Thomas-Edwards recorded his third double-double of the season and seventh career double-dip with a career-high 22 points and 12 rebounds. He was perfect in nine field goal attempts.
- Blazek and Smith added nine points each.
- Eight different Golden Knights scored and grabbed rebounds.
- Gannon shot 44.6 percent (25-56) from the field, 25 percent (2-8) from three-point range and 69.2 percent (9-13) from three-point range.
- Shawn Dyer led IUP with 16 points, hitting 4-of-10 three-pointers. Ugbede added 13 points off the bench.
- The Crimson Hawks shot 43.5 percent (20-46) from the floor, 30 percent (6-20) from behind the arc and 76.9 percent (10-13) from the charity stripe.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Gannon defeated Indiana (Pa.) for the fourth consecutive time to assume a 20-19 lead in the all-time series.
- The Golden Knights defeated the Crimson Hawks in overtime for the second consecutive time at the Hammermill Center. Gannon earned a 67-61 overtime decision at the ‘Mill last season.
- Gannon remained the only PSAC Western Division team undefeated in league play at 4-0. East Division member East Stroudsburg is the only other conference team unblemished in conference action with an identical 4-0 mark.
- The Golden Knights are 2-0 this season when tied at halftime. They defeated Slippery Rock 64-51 on November 19 after being deadlocked at the break. Both games had identical 26-26 halftime scores.
- Gannon is 4-0 in PSAC action for the first time since joining the conference in 2008.
- The Golden Knights have won their opening four conference games for the first time since winning their first eight contests as a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) member in 2007-08.
- Gannon held its seventh opponent in eight games below 60 points.
- The Golden Knights improved to 9-5 in overtime games under head coach John T. Relly.
- Gannon is now 62-36 all-time in overtime games, including a 38-13 mark at the Hammermill Center.
- Saturday’s victory was the Golden Knights’ 12th against a nationally-ranked opponent under Reilly’s direction.
- Gannon has a week off until returning to non-conference action Saturday, December 13 against Mountain East Conference (MEC) member Shepherd at the Hammermill Center. Please note the contest has an afternoon tip time of 3 p.m.
- The contest can be heard live on Jet Radio 1400 and via the 90.5 WERG stream at www.wergfm.com.
- Shepherd is off to a 5-2 start, including victories against PSAC members Lock Haven (81-63) and Kutztown (80-75).
- The two common opponents between the two programs are Glenville State and Charleston. Gannon dropped a 57-51 decision at Glenville State on November 14 while Shepherd fell 103-93 on Glenville State’s home floor on November 22.
- Gannon suffered a 54-52 neutral-floor loss to Charleston on November 15 while Shepherd won 77-72 at Charleston Saturday night.
- Gannon trails the short all-time series 2-1, including an 85-75 loss during last year’s Porreco Cup semifinals. One night later, the Rams won the Porreco Cup with a 103-96 overtime victory against Winston-Salem State.
- Next Saturday’s contest will be the fifth during a seven-game homestand. The Golden Knights won’t hit the road again until a December 20 contest at Cheyney, a span of 27 days.