On Jan. 29, the Mercyhurst University men’s basketball team faced the Edinboro Fighting Scots, pulling off a 93-56 win.
Mercyhurst took the early lead despite the aggressiveness that Edinboro showed from the start.
The Lakers led the game 46-23 at half time.
Four players from Mercyhurst hit double digits in points including sophomore guard MiyKah McIntosh with 20 points, junior forward Cameron Gross (15 points), freshman guard Michael Bradley (12 points) and freshman forward Andrew Seager (10 points).
With a current overall record of 12-7, the Lakers hold a 9-5 mark in the PSAC conference. Mercyhurst shot 48.6% from the floor, 35.1% from 3-point range and 61.5% on the line, while Edinboro went 36.5% from the field, 5.3% beyond the arc, along with 77.3% at the charity line.
The Lakers dominated off the bench, outscoring the Fighting Scots 32-19. Mercyhurst also held a 44-28 edge in the paint.
Gross lead the Lakers in rebounds (10) along with junior guard Zach McIntire (five). Mercyhurst put up 47 points in the second half with Edinboro managing only 33 points over the final 20 minutes.
Edinboro guard Trey Staunch scored 18 points to lead the Fighting Scots. Forward Anthony Allen also came off the bench, netting 11 points. Staunch grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds for the Fighting Scots.
This game was also Academic Celebration Night for the Mercyhurst student-athletes. At halftime, more than 400 student-athletes were recognized for achieving over a 3.0 grade point average in the fall semester during the 2019 school year. Student-athletes who received a 4.0 GPA were recognized for their academic excellence at half-time during the women’s basketball game as well.
Mercyhurst women’s soccer freshman Bethan O’Donnell is just one of many student-athletes who got to celebrate her achievements by walking onto the court during halftime. “It was really cool to be recognized at the basketball game. It’s rewarding to see that our hard work off the field gets noticed too,” O’Donnell said.
An undeclared major, O’Donnell earned a 4.0 GPA for the fall semester while in season. “So many times people just see us as athletes and they don’t realize that we put in as much work off the field as we do on the field,” she said.
The athletes were greeted by athletics director Brad Davis at half court along with other faculty members, who congratulated each individual student-athlete.
After the game, Edinboro currently has an overall record of 5-13 and 2-11 in PSAC conference play.
After the game, when asked what worked for the Lakers offensively, Mercyhurst’s coach Gary Manchel said that he thought the players were more open this game compared to past games.
Manchel believes that in order for the Lakers to be more successful on defense, they needed to play a complete game and force turnovers to prevent the other team from completing shots. He thinks that this will help the Lakers in close games when they are not scoring.
Manchel also cautioned that if the Lakers did not play great defensively, then they’d have no shot against IUP on Saturday. The Crimson Hawks were ranked fifth in the country and had sustained just one loss all season to Shippensburg. However, on Feb. 1, the Mercyhurst Lakers bested IUP 68-62.
This game also honored the memory of the late Kobe Bryant with fans dressing in the LA Lakers’ team colors of yellow and purple.
The Lakers’ next PSAC game is scheduled at Seton Hill University on Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. The next home game at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center is Saturday, Feb. 8 versus the Clarion University Golden Eagles at 3 p.m. The Golden Eagles currently hold a total record of 4-17 with 3-12 conference record.