In middle of playoff chase, Golden Eagle men’s basketball falls to California (Pa.)

The Clarion University men’s basketball team fell Saturday afternoon to the California (Pa.) Vulcans 90-70.

Clarion entered the game clinging to hope of a PSAC playoff spot, but left California defeated.

California was tied for the fifth playoff spot entering the game.

The Vulcans took a huge advantage early getting off to a 15-3 lead to start the game.

Clarion was able to go on a 7-0 run of its own with about eight minutes remaining in the first half, however that run only brought the Golden Eagles to within eight of the Vulcans.

The Vulcans went on an 8-0 run of their own finishing  the first half with a huge 40-23 lead almost putting the Eagles away.

The second half was more evenly matched as neither team made a huge run.

This, however, didn’t help the Golden Eagles make a comeback as the Vulcans outscored Clarion 50-47 in the second half dropping Clarion’s PSAC  record to 6-11.

Sophomores B.J. Andrews and Justin Grant lead the team with 20 and 18 points respectively in the game.Mens bball copy

Andrews played 37 of the 40 minutes leading his next closest competitors by seven minutes.

Andrews made four out of his six shots from beyond the arc, and knocked down four of his six free throws as well.

Andrews says that he is beginning to get used to playing such high minutes.

“I think my competitive juices just start to flow, and I don’t even realize I’ve been in the game that long,” Andrews said.

Freshman Cameron Grumley led the team with five steals in the game.

He also added seven points to his  season statistics.

Overall, the team shot 39.7 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from beyond the arc.

California’s leaders included Khalil Jabbie who had 16 points, six assists, and 34 minutes.

Drew Cook with three steals and Calvin Brown with three blocked shots.

California shot 57 percent from the field, but only 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.

The Golden Eagles put themselves in a tight spot now as they are chasing the playoffs.

Trailing two games behind the Pitt- Johnstown Mountain Cats, the Golden Eagles elimination number dwindles at four with five PSAC matchups left.

“We just have to continue to play hard and play together, from here on out and everything will take care of itself,” Andrews said.

“Coach Williams always talks about taking care of what you can control and as a team, all we can control is how we play the next couple weeks,” Andrews said.

Those matchups include Mercyhurst, Edinboro, Slippery Rock, and Indiana (Pa.) after last nights matchup against the Gannon Golden Knights which went final after deadline.

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