The Crimson Hawks ended a two-game losing streak, improved to 21-5 and moved to third in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West with a 69-61 win over rival Slippery Rock University Wednesday.
Devante Chance (senior, communications media) scored 23 points on 8-for-18 shooting, including 4-for-10 from beyond the arc, and dished out eight assists in another complete 40-minute game.
“It felt great tonight to end our two- game losing streak,” Chance said. “We have been in some close games, so it feels great to be able to pull this game through.”
With Chance’s seventh assist, he now needs just seven more to pass Ashton Smith for the most in IUP history.
Brandon Norfleet (junior, communications media) had 20 points on a hot
8-for-13 performance after battling a wrist and ankle injury the past couple games.
“My ankle feels great,” Norfleet said, “better than what it felt when we played Edinboro, and my wrist is improving. It felt good tonight.”
At halftime, IUP led 32-22, as Slippery Rock shot a woeful 8-for-29.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Crimson Hawks shot 52 percent at halftime with Norfleet leading the way with 12 points.
Forward Devon Cottrell (junior, communications media) threw a block party with five swats and also added 11 rebounds.
Chance had a lot to say about Cottrell’s efforts.
“He set the tone for us tonight,” Chance said. “His play was inspiring for the rest of us and ultimately helped us get out and get a lead in the game.”
In the second half, IUP came out shooting on an early 11-4 run.
Slippery Rock ended up outscoring IUP 39-26 over the final 16:40 of the game behind Antonio Butler’s big second half.
Butler had himself a night, scoring 23 points to bring The Rock back from a 21-point deficit in the second half.
Jeremy Jeffers (redshirt-senior, communications media) added 9 points and six rebounds in 24 minutes.
“It felt good to win this rivalry game,” Chance said. “The key was our attitude and the way Devon came out and played for us. We are all so proud of the way he played tonight.”
Slippery Rock went on a pair of runs late to get the deficit down to single dig- its, but IUP pulled away with a 3-point- er and buried The Rock.
IUP will travel to take on the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown 12-12 (9-11 in PSAC) Saturday at 3:30 p.m.