Clarion Men’s Basketball: Golden Eagles Put Scare into Seton Hill but Fall on the Road

GREENSBURG, Pa. – The Golden Eagle men’s basketball team caught fire on offense in the second half, in their attempt to come back against Seton Hill, but Clarion came up just a couple of possessions short in falling 76-70 to the Griffins on the road.

After falling behind by double-digits by halftime, the Golden Eagles rallied back with a big effort in the second half, outscoring the Griffins 49-41 to get themselves back into the contest. After Seton Hill went up 39-21 just 32 seconds into the second half, Cam Kearney kicked off a Clarion run that pulled them back to within single digits in just five minutes’ time. The Golden Eagles outscored Seton Hill 13-2 in that span, starting with a bucket from Kearney and closing on a three-pointer made by Steve Kelly with 14:59 to play.

That basket cut the Griffins’ lead to 41-34, and before long the Golden Eagles were within two possessions. Justice Easter stole the ball from Sean Dillon and kicked it ahead to Kelly, who then dished to Kearney for a fast break bucket that made the deficit 44-38. On Clarion’s next offensive possession Gavin Cote knocked down a three-pointer, making it a five-point game with under 13 minutes to go, and Jeremy Thomas II tipped in a missed shot from Kelly to 30 seconds later to make it 48-43.

The Golden Eagles continued to chip away, pulling to within a single point with 7:34 to go after Jayson Harris dished to Kelly, and the latter sank a three-pointer, to make it 55-54. Seton Hill eventually made it a two-possession game again after a layup from Dimitri Sklavenitis made it 63-58, and though they fought the Golden Eagles never again pulled within one basket of tying or taking the lead.

Easter finished with eight points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Kearney notched a game-high 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Thomas, meanwhile, had 15 points and seven rebounds.

The effort in the second half stood in sharp contrast to the first, as the Griffins got off to a good start and held a 14-point lead at the halftime break. Seton Hill shot just 45.2 percent from the floor in the first half but limited the Golden Eagles to an 8-of-23 (.348) mark, including just a 1-of-10 effort from three-point range. It was a close half with under six minutes to play, after Thomas sank a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 19-18, but James Rice countered with a three-pointer on the subsequent possession and it was off to the races. The Griffons outscored Clarion 16-3 down the stretch that half to build a 35-21 advantage.

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