Men’s basketball opens season with dominating win over Pitt-Greensburg
Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 13:11
The Crimson Hawks opened the 2012-2013 regular season with a dominating 91-49 victory over Pitt-Greensburg Saturday night.
IUP showed why they are ranked No. 1 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West, playing with the lead for almost the entire game. The Crimson Hawks led by as much as 44 three different times in the game, due to the great play by the team as a whole.
IUP had four players finish with double digits in points. Devante Chance scored a team-high 18 points, going 4-5 from beyond the arc. Anthony Wells finished with 14 points and Mathis Keita chipped in 13 points while Vedder added 11 points.
“I think the biggest adjustment this year is we don’t have guys that maybe can get their shot on their own as much as Julian and Ashton did,” Head Coach Joe Lombardi said, “but we have guys that really have a high basketball IQ on offense and they pass the ball well.
“I think this will be the best passing team we’ve had in a number of years.”
The Bobcats’ only lead came early in the game off a pair of layups for a 7-6 score. The Crimson Hawks then went on a 14-0 run over the next four minutes to take control midway through the first half. Back-to-back jumpers from Blake Vedder kick-started the run, while a three and a layup from Keita capped it and IUP never looked back.
The Crimson Hawks led by as much as 24 in the first half, but the Bobcats cut the lead to 17 at halftime with the score 39-22. Pitt-Greensburg would cut the deficit to just 14 in the opening moments of the second half with a three, but the Crimson Hawks would go on a 12-1 run that spanned 2:07 to build a 51-26 lead with 16:41 to play.
IUP cruised to victory late in the second half thanks to a pair of Chris Edwards hoops, and Anthony Rocco would polish off the victory with a jumper in the game’s closing moments.
IUP’s win was also in large part due to the team shooting eight of 12 from three-point range.
“Most of our threes weren’t even designed to be threes, which was the nice part of it,” Lombardi said. “They came off of penetration, kick-outs and good ball movement. When people get threes in rhythm and they get them off of inside out passing, those are your highest percentage threes.
“I think if the guys put enough time in we can be a good three point shooting team. We’re not going to make 10 a night, but we will shoot at a high percentage.”
Wells finished 5-of-6 shooting from the field and six assists, Keita added eight rebounds and seven assists to his 13 points while Vedder finished with nine boards and a game-high four blocks.
“The biggest take away is that we had 27 assists and our ability to have proper spacing on the floor along with proper passing,” Lombardi said. “We take away some of the good execution we had and some of the effort that we had.
“You have to grow as a team.”
Other top scorers were Marcel Souberbielle who finished with nine points, five assists and three rebounds, and Josh Wiegand scored eight points and had six rebounds.