Golden Eagles Basketball Comes Up Short at Home Against IUP

CLARION, Pa. — The Golden Eagle men’s and women’s basketball teams were unable to secure wins against IUP in Tippin Gym on Wednesday evening.

The women’s team fell behind IUP in the first half before fighting back with a tough defensive effort, but Clarion ultimately fell to the Crimson Hawks 67-58.

After a second-quarter outburst in which the Crimson Hawks shot 10-of-16 in the quarter, the Golden Eagles held them to just a 15-of-55 (.273) mark from the field the rest of the game, continuing their strong defensive pace they had established over the previous four games.

In their last five contests, the Golden Eagle have allowed an average of just 62.4 points per game, 15.8 points below their season average.

Strong offensive rebounding was a key factor in the comeback attempt against the Crimson Hawks, with 17 of the Golden Eagles’ 22 offensive boards coming in the second half. Foul shooting also played a part in Clarion’s success as the Golden Eagles went 19-24 from the charity stripe on the night.

Hannah Wilkerson had an outstanding day for the Golden Eagles, posting her first double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds, seven of which came on the offensive side. Autumn Taylor was also able to affect all areas of the stat sheet, posting 11 points, seven rebounds, and four assists on the night.

DayLynn Thornton and Siara Conley also made an impact, with the former adding 10 points and 5 rebounds and the latter recording 10 rebounds, four of which came on the offensive glass.

The game started as a back-and-forth, with the lead changing hands multiple times throughout the quarter. With 6:24 left in the first quarter, Wilkerson made a jump shot after collecting one of her many offensive rebounds off an Abby Gatesman missed three-pointer to break the tie and put Clarion up 8-6.

The second quarter would see the Crimson Hawks out-score the Golden Eagles 25-14, giving them a 37-24 advantage going into the locker room.

Late in the third, five quick points from Taylor were the catalyst for a 7-0 Clarion run that cut the IUP lead down to 13 points at the end of the third quarter.

Early in the fourth, Conley fought to grab an offensive rebound and kicked it out to Heather Ansell for a three-pointer, one of her three on the night, to make it 58-49 with 5:02 to play.

On the next possession, a nice out-of-bounds play freed Thornton up to make a jumper that pulled the Golden Eagles to within 58-51. This was as close as IUP would allow the Golden Eagles to get, though, as the Crimson Hawks pushed the lead back up to double digits and secured the win.

Late Rally Comes Up Short for Men’s Team

The Golden Eagle men’s team rode a wave of momentum in the second half that pulled them to within a handful of points, but IUP was able to hold off Clarion’s advances as the Crimson Hawks held on for a 78-72 win.

Clarion outscored IUP 41-36 in the second half after falling behind by 11 points before the halftime break, and an 8-0 run over the course of 95 seconds late in the game breathed life into the Golden Eagles as they attempted to come back.


The Crimson Hawks led by a 70-60 score after Bryce Radford hit a three-pointer with 5:36 to play, but Jahmari Hamilton-Brown countered on the very next trip down the floor to make it a seven-point game. Cam Kearney drew a foul on the next possession and made both of his free throws to draw the deficit down to 70-65.

The emotional crescendo came on the next Crimson Hawk possession. Jeremy Thomas II swatted a shot attempt by Sarp Furtun, with Kearney grabbing the rebound and kicking a pass to Gavin Cote beyond the three-point line. Cote nailed it from the right wing, bringing the crowd into a frenzy as he made it 70-68 with 4:01 left to go.

A crucial IUP steal set up a fast break three-pointer by Radford with under three minutes to play, with the trey making it again a two-possession game. Kearney hit a midrange jumper to make it 73-70, but the Crimson Hawks would not let them get any closer as they made their free throws down the stretch and won it 78-72.

Kearney finished just one rebound shy of a double-double, scoring a team-high 20 points to go with nine rebounds. Steve Kelly was the iron man of the group, playing all 40 minutes and posting 15 points, seven assists and four rebounds, while Thomas finished with 10 points, eight boards, four assists and four blocked shots.

Clarion got the better of the Crimson Hawks in the opening minutes of play, going up 11-3 with a huge run. Thomas wasted no time in making things happen with a dunk on the opening possession and later made it 8-3 with a make on a pass from Kelly. Justice Easter capped the run with a three-pointer at the 15:35 mark.

IUP rallied back to take a 17-16 lead, going ahead on a make from Damir Brooks, and Jaylen Stewart capped a 12-4 run to put his side ahead 27-20. Kelly and Cote hit three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to cut the lead to 29-28 with 4:28 to go in the first half, but the Crimson Hawks scored 13 of the next 16 points to take a 42-31 lead at the break.

The lead hovered around double-digits in the early portions of the second half, with Damir Brooks making it 54-44 with a midrange jumper.

Clarion rallied and got it down to two points with 9:36 to play, after Kelly drove and scored on the fastbreak to cap a 10-2 run, but the lead went back to 10 points in the span of 1:11 of game time.

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