Late Shots Sinks Clarion U. Men’s Hoops; CUP Women Have Seven-Game Win Streak End

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CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Lorenzo Collier’s jumper with just under five seconds left lifted visiting Mercyhurst to a 50-49 win over Clarion in PSAC West action Friday night at Tippin Gym.

(Photo of Lorenzo Collier. Photo courtesy of Mercyhurst athletics)

The Golden Eagles (5-8 overall, 3-5 PSAC West) had taken a 49-48 lead, it’s first of the game, when Jamani Pierce hit two free throws with 18 seconds left, but Collier was able to get a good look late and was actually fouled on the play by Akeem Williams.

Collier missed the free throw, and Clarion got the rebound and called timeout. But a last-second desperation shot by Cameron Grumley hit the rim but didn’t fall.

Mercyhurst led by 10, 46-36, with 8:07 left to play before Clarion went on a 13-2 run to take the lead led by six points from Pierce, who tied Grumley for the team lead with 12 points each.

The Lakers led by as many as 14 in the first half, 36-22, before Clarion got back within nine, 36-27, at halftime. Mercyhurst then led by as many as 11, 43-32, in the second half before the Golden Eagles made their late run.

Williams added six points and eight rebounds for Clarion, while C-L product RJ Laugand chipped in with six points on 2 of 2 from 3-point range. But the Golden Eagles were just 3 of 13 from beyond the arc and 16 of 44 from the field in the game.

Malcolm Waters paced all scorers with 15 for Mercyhurst. Durrell McDonald added 12.

Clarion is back in action Monday when it hosts Seton Hill.

MERCYHURST 67, CLARION 59

CLARION, Pa. – Senior Tyra Polite posted the highest single-game scoring total in a Clarion uniform in more than a decade, but the Clarion women’s basketball team saw their seven-game win streak snapped at home with a 67-59 loss to Mercyhurst on Friday. The Golden Eagles (9-5, 6-2 PSAC) will be back in action at home on Monday when they host Seton Hill.

Polite finished with a career-high 34 points against the Lakers, tying for the fifth-highest single-game scoring total in program history and the most since Heather Cigich scored 37 points against IUP on Jan. 25, 2003. Polite went 11-of-26 from the field, including a 6-of-17 mark from three-point range, and was 6-of-8 from the free throw line. She also added six rebounds and three steals.

Joining Polite in double-figures was Taylor Moltz, who made her second straight start and scoring in double figures for the second straight game. Moltz added 12 points – all in the first half – on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the three-point line.

The two teams traded big runs in the first two quarters before settling down in the third, with the Lakers holding a 23-10 advantage in the first period and the Golden Eagles a 26-18 edge in the second. Clarion ended the first half on an 11-0 run, cutting what was a double-digit Mercyhurst lead down to just two possessions entering the locker room. Polite nailed a three-pointer to cut the Lakers’ advantage to 41-28 with less than two minutes remaining, and then scored a transition bucket on the next trip down the floor to make it just an 11-point game.

With 39 seconds left in the second quarter, Amesha Harden-Pullium drove the baseline and kicked out to Moltz in the left corner, with Moltz burying the open three-pointer to push Mercyhurst’s lead to single digits. Harden-Pullium used the exact same tactic on the next possession, and it produced the exact same results as Moltz knocked down another trey with just three seconds left in the half to make it 41-36.

The closest Clarion came the rest of the way was early in the third quarter, when Polite made a three-pointer to cut the lead to just 43-40. The Lakers recovered and rebuilt a three-possession lead, this time on a jumper by Natalie Piaggesi with five seconds left. The two teams were evenly matched in the third quarter, with Clarion closing the game on a 12-3 run to set the final deficit.


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