When the PSAC awards were announced earlier this week, Gannon starters Adam Blazek, Girbran Smith, Raphell Thomas-Edwards, and A'Darius Porter all received various accolades. If there was a vote based only on Gannon's 69-56 whipping of Kutztown in the PSAC semifinals Saturday, ignored starter Jean Yves Toupane might have earned MVP honors.
being matched up against PSAC East defender of the year Tyler Brooks,
Toupane started aggressive and spotted Gannon an early lead on his way
to a game- and season-high 17 points. When I looked at the live stats on
my phone partway through the second half, Toupane had more points that
PSAC first-teamers Blazek and Smith combined. Kutztown knew they would need
Gannon's stars to misalign to have a chance to win, but because Toupane
started scorching the nets, KU had no chance in this one.
Toupane did the job on offense, stellar team defense as usual carried
the Knights. The last few games, I've tracked how many points Gannon has
allowed in 5-minute increments to see if they are allowing opponents
and comfortable stretches. Here's what today looked like:
20:00-15:00 3 points (7-3 GU lead)
15:00-10:01 4 points (11-7 GU lead)
10:00-5:01 3 points (25-10 GU lead)
5:00-0:00 8 points (32-18 GU lead)
20:00-15:01 6 points (39-24 GU lead)
15:00-10:01 6 points (49-30 GU lead)
10:00-5:01 6 points (57-36 GU lead)
Knights allowed a shocking 20 points in the final 5 minutes, but by
that point the Golden Bears were extending the game through fouling and
finally made a couple threes. (They were 0-for-9 heading into the final
five minutes.) Ignoring that final 5 minutes, look at the consistency of
that defense! And this was against a team that averages 76 points per
game -- or 9.5 points every 5 minutes.
I could share
many more thoughts about the PSAC semis, but as I write this the
championship game is just hours away, so I'll just share 2 more of my cents
1. When you combine the second half of IUP's win
over East Stroudsburg (outscoring ESU 50-27) and Gannon's first half
versus Kutztown (GU with a 32-18 advantage), that means the PSAC West
outscored the East 82-45 over a 40-minute stretch.
Congrats to walk-on Cory Bailey for scoring his first points on the
season. When the North East product connected on a 1-and-1 in the final
minute of the game, the Gannon bench and most of the crowd erupted for
the hard-working junior. With his work ethic, perseverance, and
team-first attitude, Bailey will go far after graduation.
For the PSAC Tournament Central web site, click here.
For Gannon's web headquarters for the PSAC Final Four, click here.
Regional Rankings / Upcoming Schedules
UPDATED 3/7/15 at 10:05 PM. Rankings reflect in-region records as of Sunday, 3/1/15, and rankings that were announced 3/4/15.
#1 West Liberty [25-2]: W vs. Shepherd (MEC quarters), L vs. #10 Glenville State (MEC semis)
#2 Indiana Pa. [24-5]: W at #4 Mercyhurst (PSAC quarters), W vs. East Stroudsburg (PSAC semis), Sun. at #3 Gannon (PSAC finals)
#3 Gannon [20-8]: W vs. #7 Slippery Rock (PSAC quarters), W vs. Kutztown (PSAC semis), Sun. vs. #2 Indiana (PSAC finals)
#4 Mercyhurst [20-7]: L vs. #2 Indiana (PSAC quarters)
#5 Bowie State [21-7]: No games scheduled
#6 Fairmont State [19-9]: W vs. Notre Dame (MEC quarters), W vs. Wheeling Jesuit (MEC semis), Sun. vs. #10 Glenville (MEC finals)
#7 Slippery Rock [18-9]: L at Gannon (PSAC quarters)
#8 Concord [20-7]: L vs. Wheeling Jesuit (MEC quarters)
#9 Charleston [17-9]: W vs. WV State, L vs. #10 Glenville State (MEC quarters)
#10 Glenville State [18-10]: W vs. UVa-Wise (MEC first round), W vs. #9 Charleston (MEC quarters), W vs. #1 West Liberty (MEC semis), Sun. vs. #6 Fairmont (MEC finals)
Wheeling Jesuit [19-9]: W vs. Urbana (MEC first round), W vs. #8 Concord (MEC quarters), L vs. #6 Fairmont State (MEC semis)
East Stroudsburg [19-8]: W vs. Millersville (PSAC quarters), L vs. #2 Indiana (PSAC semis)
[CIAA AUTO BID] Livingstone [19-9]: No games scheduled
Locks (4): West Liberty, Indiana, Gannon, Livingstone
Likely In (3): Mercyhurst, Bowie State, Fairmont State
Fighting For The Final Spot: Glenville State
Hoping For Mercy From The Committee: Slippery Rock, Concord, Charleston, Wheeling Jesuit, East Stroudsburg