Whew, am I ecstatic Gannon won at Shippensburg today, 85-72, snapping an 8-game road losing streak which included a 3-game skein this year. I was beginning to worry that Canadian Clinton Springer-Williams, the only non-American on the GU roster, had developed xenodochiophobia (fear of foreign hotels) which had mutated into a domestic, contagious strain and infected all his teammates.
The Knights got well in a big way against the Raiders, racing out to a 22-point first-half lead and cruising from there. This game is a perfect example of why I don't bet on sporting events. Today, GU buries 7 of its first 9 three-point attempts. Just yesterday, Gannon went 0-for-4 on threes at Cheyney on their way to a 19-point drubbing that wasn't even that close. Meanwhile on Saturday, Shippensburg was handling previously unbeaten Clarion, 69-63. If you had to select a point spread before the Gannon/Ship game, no way would it have been Gannon +13. I can't begin to explain how such a turnaround for both teams could happen in a scant 24 hours. Did the Ship players celebrate their win too hard Saturday night? Was Gannon simply "due" for a breakout road game? Was there a new gameplan for either team? Was it just matchups?
You can imagine the Ship coaches talked before the game about Gannon's long distance ineptitude at Cheyney. And you can also bet that 15 minutes into the game today, after 7 treys had rained down on them, they were slamming their clipboards in frustration and asking, "Why us?"
I can't explain what happened, but I'm glad it did. Heading to IUP Wednesday with a 9-game road losing streak and 0-4 mark this year wouldn't be the right mindset for the Knights. Maybe they'll focus more that IUP won its home crossover games by narrow margins to ordinary teams this weekend -- 74-68 vs. Kutztown and 78-72 vs. East Stroudsburg -- and feel that the Crimson Hawks could be vulnerable at home, despite winning 28 straight at Memorial Fieldhouse. Or maybe it's a sign that IUP should win by 50. Your guess is as good as mine.