Joseph Lillard / Staff Writer
The Clarion’s men’s basketball team has not been able to find its rhythm since the start of the new year.
With Clarion’s 72-65 loss to Mercyhurst on Jan. 31 and 86-67 loss against the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown on Feb. 3, the team’s losing streak rolls to 12 straight.
Mercyhurst travelled to Clarion for a game on January 31, and they controlled the game. Mercyhurst posted a four-point lead going into the second half, with the score at 34-30.
While the Eagles tried to keep pace, Mercyhurst would come out on top, outscoring Clarion in the second half, 38-35, to set the final score at 72-65.
Mercyhurst connected on 41 percent of their shots throughout the contest, with 45 percent from three-point land. Clarion managed to shoot 42 percent from the field, and they rejected seven shots throughout the game.
Cameron Grumley led the Eagles with 20 points, seven rebounds, four assist, two blocks and a steal. Khari Williams pumped in 16 points to go with six rebounds.
Mason Mraz added 10 points and seven rebounds of his own.
The Golden Eagles travelled to UPJ for its next game on a Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers jumped out at them, and took a 43-27 lead to close out the half. Again, Clarion tried to clean up in the second half.
Unfortunately, it would be too little too late, as Clarion was outscored by three in the final half of the game. Clarion actually shot over 40 percent for the whole game, but its slow start costed them.
Brandon Williams was the only Eagle to reach double figures in scoring with 15 points.
Clarion’s next game with be against Slippery Rock, at Slippery Rock University. That game, on Saturday, Feb. 10, is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.
The last five games all feature a conference rival as its competitor.
Aside from the game at Slippery Rock, the last four contests will be split at home and on the road.
The Golden Eagles will host Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania before hitting the road for its final two matchups.
As a long and tiring season winds down, Clarion looks to finish with the most positive light possible.
The team intends to play the role of spoiler in its last five games against conference rivals as it thinks about a form of change for next season.
An 0-17 PSAC record gives Clarion a bit more incentive to try to take down its rivals to end a struggle of a season.