Clark-led Rock cruise to 99-76 win over Kutztown
Darious Clark scored 33 points on 11-of-15 shooting to lead Slippery Rock to a 99-76 win over Kutztown Saturday night
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -- Senior guard Darious Clark (Clinton, Md./Surrattsville HS) buried seven 3-point shots en route to a 33-point scoring night Saturday night to lead hosting Slippery Rock University to a 99-76 win over Kutztown University in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference men's basketball crossover action in Morrow Field House.
Clark was one of five Rock players who finished the game with double-figure scoring totals as The Rock improved their season records to 10-3 overall and 7-2 in conference action and remained tied with 21st-ranked Indiana (Pa.) for first place in the PSAC-Western Division standings.
Senior forward Devin Taylor (New Castle/New Castle HS) scored 16 points and five rebounds, senior center Luiz Santos (Sao Paulo, Brazil/College Avanco) had 14 points and six rebounds, senior forward Gerald Brooks (Pittsburgh/Schenley HS) added 12 points and 10 rebounds, junior guard Sa'Quan Davis (Washington, D.C./Suitland HS) hit three treys en route to an 11-point outing and senior guard Aubin Reeves (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone HS) handed out eight assists.
Micah Fraction scored a game-high 35 points for Kutztown, which sustained its fifth consecutive loss and saw its season records drop to 3-12, 2-7. Tracy Peal added 13 points for the Golden Bears.
The Rock hit 54.5% (36-66) of their field-goal attempts, including an 11-of-20 (55%) efficiency from 3-point range, and canned 16 of 20 free throws.
The hosts also outrebounded their guests by a 42-30 margin, the 12th time in 13 games this winter the Green and White have ruled the backboards.
SRU committed 13 turnovers, compared to 11 for Kutztown, and recorded 10 blocked shots. Junior swingman Tabari Perry ejected three shots, Taylor and Santos each swatted down two attempts and Brooks, Clark and Reeves each had one block.
Kutztown finished the game with a 42% (26-62) efficiency on its field-goal attempts, with a 6-of-17 (35%) showing from beyond the arc, and made 69% (18-26) of its free throws.
The Rock never trailed in the game as they scored the first four points. Kutztown trimmed the lead to one point. 7-6, with 17:30 left to play in the first half and trailed by only six points, 22-26, with 12 minutes left before the intermission.
SRU then ran off 15 answered points in the span of four minutes to take a 37-16 lead. Kutztown never got closer than 16 points the rest of the way.
The Rock built their 37-16 lead on a 15-of-20 efficiency from the field that included a 7-of-11 effort from 3-point range in the first 12 minutes of action.
The margin was 22 points, 50-28, at halftime and grew as large as 31 points (75-44 with 10:30 left to play).
Saturday's game marked the end of this winter's PSAC crossover series. The Rock, who won six of the eight games against PSAC-Eastern Division rivals, open their PSAC-Western Division schedule with a Wednesday road trip to Lock Haven (6-6 overall, 4-5 PSAC). Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.
The Rock return home next Saturday, to host Mercyhurst in a 3 p.m. game. Mercyhurst currently owns a 10-5 overall record and, with a 6-3 conference record, is tied with Gannon (12-3) for third place in the PSAC-West standings, one game behind The Rock and Indiana.
Notes: Clark's treys total Saturday night was one shy of the school record shared by three players, mostly recently by Michael Evans Jr. vs. Ashland University in the 2008-09 season … Clark's points total was the highest recorded by a Rock player since Jan. 29, 2011, when All-America performer Maron Brown scored 33 at Edinboro University … Taylor ranks 18th on The Rock's career rebounding list with 572, two behind Peyton Tomblin (574 from 1971-74) and five behind Curt Williams (577 from 1984-88) … Taylor is 130 points away from becoming the 22nd player in Rock men's basketball history to score 1,000 career points … The Rock's win total after 13 games this winter is one shy of the best-ever, 11-2 start recorded by six teams and one win better than the starts for the 2008-09, 2010-11 and 2011-12 teams that earned berth in the PSAC tournament.
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