Millersville might own the nickname "Marauders", but Gannon did all the pillaging and raiding Monday night at the Hammermill Center. MU withered under GU's defensive pressure in the second half -- taking bad shots and committing a dozen turnovers -- as the Knights broke open a close game to win 74-52.
I didn't hear the announcement before the game, but apparently Millersville will self-destruct in exactly 26 minutes. At that juncture of the game, Gannon held a slim 42-41 edge and the 'Ville was shooting over 50% from the field. Just 10 minutes later, Gannon's up by 18. If we could go back and watch the tape (I'd actually like to but I don't think MU coach Fred Thompson would), you'd see during that juncture that Millersville had difficulty getting the ball to the wing let alone into the basket. When MU did score, it was often on a broken play after a Gannon deflection or a loose ball scramble.
I'd like to point out one guy who turned up the pressure, but that's not the case with the Gannon defense. The entire team pushed Millersville's perimeter players 25-30 feet away from the basket and flooded the paint when the ball went inside. Millersville turned the ball over 25 times and shot just 2-for-18 from three-point range. You'd do that to if for the previous 20 seconds of the possession you had to run for your life away from an aggressive defender (or two or three). I hope tonight was the beginning of a trend where Gannon dominates the second half because of their defensive pressure.
* West Chester, Gannon's opponent Tuesday, was pistol-whipped at Clarion Monday, 98-72. Let's hope that trend continues as well for one more day.
* It's PSAC crossover season. Keep track of all the results by checking out the PSAC men's basketball web page here.
* Millersville is one of my all-time favorite GU opponents. The 1987 East Regional final is still, in my opinion, the best game ever played at the Hammermill -- former Knight Jim Rocco aptly called it, "40 minutes of noise." Some of my all-time favorite Marauders include bespectacled big man John Fox, muscular Eric Yankowy, wide body Jon Dunmeyer, long-distance threat Lance Gelnett, muscular guard Mike Monroe, Strong Vincent grad Matt Harris and coach John Kochan. If you want to walk down Millersville's memory lane, click here for the MU media guide.