Golden Eagle Men’s Basketball Pushes Nationally-Ranked California (PA) in High-Scoring Game

Jacob Deemer

Jacob Deemer

Published January 18, 2024 5:20 am

CLARION, Pa. — The Golden Eagles fell to nationally ranked California (PA) in a high-scoring affair at Tippin Gymnasium, with the Vulcans holding off Clarion for a 93-80 win.

(Pictured above: Gavin Cote. Photo by Gavin Cote continued to provide a spark off the Golden Eagles’ bench, nailing five three-pointers and setting a new career-high with 20 points. Over his last four games, Cote is averaging 13.0 points per game and is shooting 56.0 percent from behind the arc.

The first 10 minutes of the game saw the Cal offense build up a 24-point lead, but Clarion would start to chip away before halftime and pull themselves to within striking distance. The first signs were at the 5:22 mark, when Jeremy Thomas II converted a layup on the fast break off an assist by Justice Easter, with the latter recording a season-high eight assists in the game.

The duo of Cam Kearney and Easter were crucial at the end of the first half, scoring or assisting on 16 of the 17 final Golden Eagle points. The half was punctuated by Clarion’s leading scorer on the night’s three-pointer, bringing the score to a 52-38 deficit.

The Golden Eagles continued their comeback bid in the second half as they forced back-to-back turnovers, resulting in a Jahmari Hamilton-Brown layup and two Easter free throws to cut the Vulcans’ lead to 12.

California would stretch the lead back out to 20, but Cote would bring life back to the Clarion offense by drilling a three-pointer with the opportunity to make a four-point play.

At the 9:20 mark, Kearney lowered his shoulder and went through the defense, converting a tough and-one layup for three of his 19 points on the night.

Clarion kept the game going late into the second half, with the three-point shot nailing six of their 12 attempts.

Jayson Harris had nine of his 13 points in the game in the second half, including two from behind the arc.

A bomb from behind the arc from Kearney before the under-four media timeout cut California’s lead to only an 11-point difference.

The Vulcans would squash any hope for a Clarion comeback attempt by adding a couple more baskets and stretching the lead back out to the final score of 93-80.

The Golden Eagles men will retake the court on Saturday, January 20, at 3 p.m., when they host the top-10 nationally ranked Gannon Golden Knights.

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