Devin Taylor had game-high totals of 27 points and 15 rebounds and Tabari Perry scored the game-winning points on a layup with 2.6 seconds left Saturday to lift SRU (23-8) to victory
WEST LIBERTY, W. Va. – Slippery Rock University recorded its first-ever NCAA Division II men’s basketball tournament opening-round victory Saturday afternoon with a 69-67 win over 16th-ranked Winston-Salem State University in the Atlantic Regional hosted by West Liberty University.
With the win over the second-seeded Rams (21-7), the sixth-seeded Rock improved their season record to 23-8 and matched the school record shared by three previous teams for single-season wins.
Most importantly, the Green and White earned a berth in Sunday’s 5 p.m. second-round game, in which they will meet Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference-Western Division rival Indiana U. of Pa. for the fourth time this season.
Third-seeded IUP (25-5), winners of two of the three previous meetings with SRU this winter and the No. 10 team in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches’ Division II national ranking, advanced to Sunday’s action with a 76-68 win over conference rival East Stroudsburg, the No. 6 seed, in Saturday’s first opening-round game.
Junior swingman Tabari Perry drove the left baseline and scored off an assist from junior guard Sa’Quan Davis with 2.6 seconds left to play to account for the winning points in The Rock’s win Saturday.
Perry then put the exclamation point on the win when he blocked a last-second jump shot by Winston-Salem State standout Justin Glover and grabbed the loose ball as the final horn sounded.
Senior forward Devin Taylor recorded game-high totals of 27 points and 15 rebounds to lead The Rock attack, while both Perry and senior forward Gerald Brooks finished the game with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Joe Thompson muscled his way to team-high totals of 19 points and 11 rebounds for Winston-Salem State, while Glover had 15 points and six rebounds and Michel-Ofik Nzege chipped in 13 points and six rebounds.
The Rock shot 39% (23 of 59) from the field, made three of 14 (11%) shots from 3-point range and sank 20 of 27 (74%) free throws in the game.
SRU also won the rebounding battle by a 46-40 margin, but were on the high side of an 11-8 turnover comparison.
Winston-Salem State made 35% (24 of 68) of its action shots with a 6-of-15 showing from 3-point range