While the majority of the Clarion University student body was carving up turkey over Thanksgiving break, the men’s basketball team was carving up its opponents extending its winning streak to six games.
The Golden Eagles high octane offense led the team against Davis & Elkins, Carlow, and PSAC West rival CalU.
Overall, Clarion outscored its opponents 254-201 in those three games, while reaching the century mark in the game against Carlow.
As it goes for most games for the Golden Eagles, the offense feeds straight out of the defense.
The Golden Eagles forced 42 turnovers over the three games and scored 63 points off turnovers.
Clarion used its size to its advantage, accounting for 44 offensive rebounds, which accounted for 44 second chance points.
In the two non-conference games against Davis & Elkins and Carlow, the Golden Eagles were led by junior guard B.J. Andrews, who compiled 36 points while shooting 52 percent from the field.
Senior Rob Agurs was also a stat sheet stuffer while tallying 30 points along with 16 rebounds, seven assist and four steals in the two non-conference games.
The game against Carlow was a big game for the Golden Eagles because of the fact that point guard Andre’ Anthony returned to the lineup after battling an NCAA ineligibility stint.
Anthony had a huge return, scoring 33 points and dishing our four assists.
Andrews sees Anthony as a big contributor for the team going forward.
“In my mind, [Anthony] is the best point guard in the conference hands down.”
Andrews continued, “He is a senior, so he has the experience that is needed at that position. He also can score the ball and defend, so it’s just a great asset to have somebody like that running the show for us this year.”
On Dec. 1, the Golden Eagles traveled to California, Pa. to take on the Vulcans.
It is known that teams like CalU, IUP and Gannon are some of the biggest competition that men’s basketball faces this semester.
However, Andrews says the team did not see this game as bigger than any other.
“For us being preseason ranked No. 7 in the polls, we have every game on our calendar circled,” Andrews said.
He continued, “I think what’s so special about this group is that we all play with a chip on our shoulders. Every night we go out there and show that Clarion Basketball is going to be a force in the PSAC from now on…”
Anthony also contributed 13 points while playing 35 minutes in Clarion’s first win at CalU since 2009.
The Golden Eagles defeated the Vulcans 71-58.
Agurs and Andrews tied for the game high in points with 14.
The Golden Eagles are now 4-0 in PSAC West play.
Andrews sees this hot start for the Eagles as a great way to get off on the right foot.
“With only five guys coming back for last year, we are still in the process of learning each other and finding our team identity. Each game for us is a learning experience and a chance to build comradery,” Andrews said.
He continued, “With the PSAC being such a tough league, to start 4-0 just gives us a lot of leeway. Hopefully we continue to pile up win by playing the way we’ve been playing.”