... but please don't ask me to grade them in any other categories. An ugly win is supposed to be better than a pretty loss, but I think I felt better after Saturday's defeat vs. IUP than tonight's 61-60 victory over Edinboro. Gannon committed 20 turnovers, fell behind a mediocre team by 17 at home, and it seems like the player rotation that was becoming clearer is now foggy again. (James Bryant is now the fourth string point guard behind Ty Batts? I've never seen anyone fall deeper and faster on a depth chart.)
Let's look on the bright side of this:
* The Knights are now alone in third place in the PSAC West after stopping the Scots. Mercyhurst fell at Clarion by 2 while Lock Haven was pummeled at Slippery Rock by 25.
* Several teams entered PSAC play with stellar records but are now behind 3-2 Gannon in the conference standings. Cal was 12-3 but is now 0-5 in PSAC West play. West Chester (11-2, 2-3 PSAC East), Mercyhurst (10-3, 2-3), and Slippery Rock (11-2, 2-3) are in choppy waters after fast starts. Whodathunkit after Gannon's early season turbulence?
* This team tries hard. Down 17, they could have started bickering and panicking. But instead they dug deep, got stops, pounded the Boro on the glass, and somehow squeaked out a victory despite some mind-numbing turnovers.
* You can complain about the referees if you want -- they opened themselves up for criticism by giving a Scot one free throw on a two-shot foul -- but they gave Gannon a huge break on the Knights' final possession. From my angle, it looked like George Johnson forced his way into a crowd and had the ball stripped cleanly from his hands.
* Gannon certainly has a clutch player in Johnson. Not only did he swish two pressure free throws, he demanded the ball for the winning shot. And then when he got it, he signaled with four fingers down, telling his teammates to clear out and stand on the baseline while he took his man 1-on-1. That's leadership.
I never thought I'd say this, but big game at Lock Haven (5-11, 2-3 PSAC West) Saturday. I'll take two ugly wins in a row.