Before we take a quick look back at tonight's game, let's look ahead. Gannon's final three PSAC regular season games are Saturday vs. Pitt-Johnstown, then at California and vs. Seton Hill. The Knights have already lost to UPJ and Cal and held on for dear life at last-place Seton Hill, so don't start printing those playoff tickets for the Hammermill yet. But you have to like the opportunity in front of the Knights. If I would have told you in the preseason that you could give me $100 for Gannon to be in this spot in mid-February, you'd have forked over that cash and maybe even left me a tip.
I could only follow the game via live stats on my phone -- and to be truthful, down the stretch I was looking at the Hurst/IUP game as much as the Gannon game -- so I can't offer lots of insights. But a few items on the box score sure jump out:
* Gannon won the rebounding margin by a comical 47-18 advantage. On the offensive glass, Gannon held an 18-3 advantage.
* The Knights shot 52.5% for the game, including 58% (18-for-31) in the first half. Raphell Thomas-Edwards was the most consistent shooter, hitting 9-of-13 field goals in just 22 minutes of action.
* How in the world did Gannon win by only 7 despite those statistics I just cited? Well, GU was just 1-of-8 on threes while Clarion was 7-for-17 on treys and 20-of-29 at the foul line.
* It's great to see Matthew Dogan provide an offensive spark: 12 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field and a 5-of-6 performance at the line. I've said all year when bench players like Dogan and Rich Austin (10 points in 19 minutes) produce, this team goes from very good to special.
As high as I am tonight about the results, I know -- and I know John Reilly knows better than I know -- that everything could come crashing down again Saturday afternoon. The Knights should enjoy their bus ride home, but they need to get back to work Thursday during practice to keep PSAC West title hopes in their control.
UPDATED 2/12/15 11:00 PM: Other regional games of interest from Wednesday and Thursday (numbers denote most recent Atlantic Region CoSIDA rankings). It was a disastrous night for
#1 West Liberty: W at Shepherd
#2 IUP: L at #9 Mercyhurst
#3 Bowie State: L at Virginia Union (VUU is now 8-15 on the season)
#4T Glenville State: L at Urbana (75-42; talk about the wheels falling off!)
#4T Fairmont State: L vs. Wheeling Jesuit
#6T Charleston: L at Concord
#6T Virginia State: L at Chowan
#8 Slippery Rock: W at Edinboro
#10 Gannon: W at Clarion
East Stroudsburg: L at Southern Connecticut State
Livingstone: L at Fayetteville State