By Francis Abbamonte
Last Saturday, the ESU Men’s Basketball team defeated the Seton Hill University Griffins 109-85 at Koehler Fieldhouse. It was the first of two back-to-back home games over the weekend for the Warriors.
Because these two teams play in different divisions, they only face each other every so often. It has been two years since these two schools last played each other.
From the opening tip, the Warriors were able to move the ball around the court smoothly and ran the ball well during the first half. ESU kept feeding the ball to redshirt-senior forward Steve Harris in the paint.
Ball movement was an emphasis early, and the Warriors kept finding the open man on the court when they were on offense. ESU ran its full court pressure on defense every time Seton Hill inbounded the ball.
Seton Hill kept the game close during the early minutes of the first half, but then the Warriors began to pull away. The Warriors forced Seton Hill into committing 17 turnovers, and ESU’s offense began to roll on the other end.
The point guard tandem of redshirt-junior guard Jakwan Jones and junior guard Kitt Najee Walls did well facilitating the offense and playing team basketball. The Warriors kept forcing shots in the paint to get the Griffins in foul trouble.
Everything seemed to be going ESU’s way on offense and defense late in the first half. The Warriors were effective converting Seton Hill’s turnovers into points. ESU finished the first half strong and headed into halftime with a dominant 52-32 lead.
Seton Hill tried to turn the game around by being aggressive on offense and going to the paint. ESU committed nine fouls early in the second half that put the Griffins in the bonus with plenty of time in the game. Seton Hill looked to capitalize with the Warriors in foul trouble.
But even though the Warriors were in foul trouble early in the second half, it didn’t stop them from returning to their first half form and getting their offense back on track. The Warrior defense came alive again and wouldn’t allow the Griffins to get back into the game. Seton Hill committed nine turnovers in the second half.
ESU continued to put full court pressure against the Griffins and looked to strike.
Everyone on the team shared the ball and contributed. The Warriors didn’t let their opponent get comfortable or feel settled on defense. When it seemed like Seton Hill was going on a mini-run, the Warriors countered with a run of their own.
ESU’s leading scorers were Harris, who finished with 19 points and junior shooting guard Nick Giordano, who scored 16 points.
The Warriors didn’t hold back and kept putting points on the board to secure the victory. Seton Hill continued to play until the very end despite being down late in the second half.
It was an all-around strong win for the Warriors and the fifth time that they scored at least 100 points in a game. ESU has started off the season strong with five straight wins.
On Sunday, the Warriors beat California 108-97 to run their record to a perfect 6-0.
ESU (6-0, 4-0) will play Gannon at Koehler Fieldhouse this Saturday afternoon. It will be the first of a four-game homestand for the Warriors.
Email Frankie at: