Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bigger And Better

Gannon has had so many nailbiting games this season, I don't know how to react after back-to-back blowouts. The Knights followed up their 30-point shellacking of Pitt-Johnstown Saturday with a 70-49 harpooning at Le Moyne tonight. I watched the game via video feed and for most of the contest it looked like the varsity vs. the JV's (or "jayvees" as Jack Polancy used to write). I know Le Moyne was hampered without leading scorer Nate Gause (21.8 ppg), who scored a team-high 14 when the Dolphins beat Gannon 47-45 back on Nov. 28 at the Hammermill. But I often felt sorry for them because the Knights were bigger, badder, better, and brawnier at every position.

This was a dangerous game -- a non-conference affair on the road in mid-February when conference play is the focus -- but Gannon wasn't distracted in the least and trampled Le Moyne for a 41-21 margin 21+ minutes in. After allowing a couple soft offensive boards early, Gannon held Le Moyne to just 4 offensive rebounds for the game, on their way to a 39-24 rebounding margin.

I don't have any whiz-bang insights to offer other than Gannon is clearly better than Le Moyne, and the Knights were mentally prepared for this one. If they can maintain this level of play through the weekend, they will clobber Cal -- who (for crying out loud!) lost at home to last place Seton Hill tonight, 63-62 -- and earn the PSAC West crown.

Regional Rankings
The first official Division II Atlantic Region rankings were announced this afternoon; fourth is about as high as Gannon fans could have hoped for with their early-season struggles. I will update the results for you when the games are complete:

UPDATED 2/19/15 at 11:15 PM

#1 West Liberty (22-2): W at WV Wesleyan, Sat. vs. #8 Glenville State
#2 Fairmont State (17-8): L vs. #10 Concord, Sat. vs. UVa-Wise
#3 Indiana Pa. (20-5): W vs. #6 Slippery Rock, Sat. at UPJ
#4 Gannon (17-8): W at Le Moyne, Sat. at California
#5 Mercyhurst (18-7): W at UPJ, Sat. at Seton Hill
#6 Slippery Rock (18-7): L at #3 IUP, Sun. at Clarion
#7 Bowie State (19-7): W at Virginia State, Sat. at Elizabeth City State
#8 Glenville State (17-8): L vs. Wheeling Jesuit, Sat. at #1 West Liberty
#9 Charleston (16-9): W at Urbana, Sat. vs. Notre Dame Oh. 
#10 Concord (16-8): W at #2 Fairmont State, Sat. at Shepherd
Virginia State (17-6): L vs. #7 Bowie State, Sat. at Lincoln
Winston-Salem (15-8): W vs. Johnson C. Smith, Sat. at Livingstone  
Wheeling Jesuit (15-8): W at Bluefield State, W at #8 Glenville, Sat. vs. WV Wesleyan
East Stroudsburg (16-8): W at West Chester, Sat. at Mansfield 
Livingstone (14-9): W vs. St. Augustine's, Sat. vs. Winston-Salem State


  1. Number four is not too shabby! Let's hope that the good run continues today!

    Lady Knights are #7. Surprisingly, the top-ranked team is Livingstone; I presumed that it was a done deal that they were going to forfeit. Gannon travels to #2 Cal on Saturday. IUP is 3; Bloom 4; Charleston 5; West Chester 6; Gannon 7; Fairmont 8. Boro is 10.

    Number seven is pretty tenuous as it puts a team in position to get knocked out by a surprise conference champion.

    West Chester (19-4, 19-4), Gannon (17-6, 17-5), Fairmont State (W.Va.) (19-6, 19-6), Johnson C. Smith (18-5, 18-5) and

  2. If the men's rankings held, you would have Gannon/Mercyhurst in the first round battling for the right to play West Liberty.

  3. Great news for the GU Men, as long as they win out the rest of the regular season, they will make the NCAA's. They should be fine.

    The Women are going to be on the edge, if they lost on Saturday they are going to be in some deep trouble.

  4. I don't agree 100% with iup being ahead of us. I know we split and they beat us by more than we beat them (as well as they have a slightly better record). However, hurst beat iup twice yet iup is up 2 on them. The only bad loss we have is really UPJ. Lemoyne was better team first time around than tonight, millersville has scrapped with many teams. Cal is a bad loss too, but still wasn't a horrible loss. Only big loss was to iup. I honestly feel Gannon and hurst are both a tie for 3rd and iup is 5th. Right now I feel confident saying that I believe Gannon and hurst could both win at least 7 out of 10 against iup at this point in the season.

    Even if the guys were to lose both games left, they still have a really good shot at making NCAA tournament. They'd at least win their first PSAC game more than likely first two and the other teams will all be slugging each other in their own conferences.

    The girls, sadly, I believe will not be in the tournament this year. I'm pulling for them, but I envision a Cal win Saturday and an early exit from PSAC tourney.

  5. Why does the MEC not get an automatic ?

    1. Dan Teliski has all the answers. He emailed this to me today:

      Even though the MEC is basically the old WVIAC, the WVIAC technically disbanded and the MEC had to file as a new conference. New conferences have a two-year waiting period to obtain an automatic bid. It will have an automatic bid starting next year.

  6. Note from Gannon SID Dan Teliski about the women's rankings:

    People have asked me why Livingstone women’s basketball is still ranked regionally because they self-reported an ineligibile student-athlete. For now their record is staying the same because the student-athlete has filed an appeal and the NCAA hasn’t made a decision yet. So, Livingstone’s record will remain until the NCAA rules on the appeal.

    Thank you Dan!

    1. correction jim - score was 36-21 at halftime.

    2. Correction made. The margin was 41-21 a couple minutes into the second half. Thanks for the heads up.

  7. Great win!! Very resilient group!!

  8. Upsets in the MEC tonight included #2 Fairmont losing at home to #10 Concord and #8 Glenville falling at home to Wheeling Jesuit by 18.

    1. what do we feel the chances are that UVA-Wise can upset Fairmont? haha