CALIFORNIA (Jan. 12) – Junior forward Steve Swiech (Greenock, Pa./Elizabeth-Forward) and sophomore guard Quentin Harding (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) each posted double-doubles on Wednesday night, as the California University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team earned an 82-73 victory over Edinboro in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West play.
With the win, the Vulcans improve to 8-4 overall this season and 1-0 in league play. Meanwhile, the Fighting Scots suffered their fourth-straight loss to drop to 8-7 this year with a 0-1 mark in divisional action.
Swiech led all players with a career-high 20 points on 8-of-13 from the field and four-of-six from the free-throw line. He also added 11 rebounds (six offensive) to register his first career double-double. Harding also posted his first double-double on Wednesday, adding 14 points and a season-high 14 rebounds against the Fighting Scots.
Junior Chad Tipton (Hanover, Pa./South Western) finished with 15 points off the bench after making five-of-six beyond the arc. He also added four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the win.
Leading by single-digits for virtually the entire first half, the Vulcans made treys on three-straight possessions late in the half to stretch their lead to 17 points, 43-26, with 44 seconds remaining. Cal U then took a 43-28 lead at halftime behind 21 bench points and seven three-pointers in the first half.
Cal U scored two quick baskets in the second half before Edinboro countered with nine-unanswered points, 50-39, with 18:13 left in the game. The Vulcans later worked their lead back to 19 points, 63-44, after senior forward Rashawd Hatten (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) scored six-straight points. The double-digit lead remained until the last minute of the game when the Fighting Scot cut the deficit to nine points on a tip-in with 13 seconds remaining.
For the game, the Vulcans shot 44.1 percent (30-of-68) from the floor after shooting 61.1 percent (11-of-18) from three-point territory. The 11 treys by Cal U are the most in a game since hitting 12 against Aquinas (Mich.) on Dec. 28, 2008. In the loss, the Fighting Scots made 46.6 percent (27-of-58) of their shots and 63.6 percent (14-of-22) from the free-throw line.
Cal U out-rebounded Edinboro by a 44-34 margin after collecting 15 offensive rebounds. The Vulcans tied their season low with just 13 turnovers, while collecting a season-high 20 assists on 30 field-goals with a team-high five by guards CJ Townes (Joppatowne, Md /Joppatowne) and Joe Berenato (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic).
Junior forward Cory Somerville led three Fighting Scots in double figures with 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting. He also paced the team with seven rebounds and three blocks. Freshman Courtney Harden-Pullium and senior Byron Knight added 16 and 11 points, respectively.
The Vulcans return to PSAC West play on Saturday, Jan. 15, when they travel to face Mercyhurst in Erie, Pa., at 3 p.m. Since the Lakers joined the conference, they have won three of the four meetings, including both games at the Mercyhurst Athletic Center