After starting the season just 5-5 (3-3 in the PSAC), Gannon finished this week celebrating its seventh consecutive win after road victories Wednesday at Mercyhurst, 78-73 in overtime, and Saturday at Mansfield, 81-76.
the postgame radio interview after his Knights held off the Mounties,
John Reilly was asked about Zay Jackson's performance which featured a
career-high tying 29 points on 9-for-9 shooting from the foul line and a
6-of-10 chart on three-pointers. "He deserves to make those shots,"
Reilly said. "He puts in extra time at the gym on his own, so he
Isn't that essentially the theme of this
year's team? Nothing has occurred by happenstance; everything has been
hard-earned. Five overtime games in a six-game span was certainly
coincidental, but winning all of them wasn't a byproduct of luck.
This team outrebounds, outhustles, and outguts its opponents for 40
minutes -- 50 if necessary. Even the little-used bench players (which is
pretty much everyone outside Gannon's starting five) exhibit more
enthusiasm than their opponents.
Why is Matthew Dogan
having a breakout season? Over three-plus years he's worked and willed
his way to being a better player. Why is soon-to-be PSAC West Freshman
of the Year Jimmy Berger playing with wisdom beyond his years and now
emerging as a scoring threat? Because he's a gym rat and he's open to
guidance from his teammates and coaches. And why is Damon Miraud, who I
think is closer to 6-foot-3 than the 6-foot-5 he's listed at, within a
couple boards of being the leading rebounder in the PSAC? He just wants
it more. One possession late at Mercyhurst, Miraud looked like he
climbed a stepladder to snare a rebound above a crowd of much taller
With the three other top-four PSAC West teams
-- Slippery Rock, #10 Indiana (Pa.), and Pitt-Johnstown -- being
Gannon's next three opponents, I'm prepared for the winning streak to
come to an end. But I'll bet my last dollar this team won't be
outworked, and whoever walks away from the Hammermill victorious these
next three games, they'll have earned it.