At Hollinger Field House at 1 p.m. last Saturday, the Golden Rams slid past Mansfield and earned a play-off berth by defeating the Mountaineers 81-74. Brandon Long scored 21 points at home to push West Chester over Mansfield in at the PSAC basketball showdown on Saturday. Long connected on 7 of 11 field goals, made a trio of three-pointers and went four for four from the foul line en route to his sensational game. With the win, WCU clinches a PSAC playoff berth. The Rams will go on the road to face Cheyney University on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. in the quarter finals. This marks an impressive eighth straight PSAC playoff appearance for the Rams.
In the first half of the game on Saturday the momentum was very back and forth. The high-scorer for Mansfield, Ian Connor, put up 10 unanswered points to give Mansfield an early 15 to 5 lead before seeing that lead diminish when Antoine Lovelace caught fire for 12 points in just six minutes. The first half ended with a 30-25 lead for West Chester University. In the second half, Kofi Danquah scored the first five points for WCU.
Then, with the help of two technical fouls, one by the head coach of Mansfield arguing a call and one by Ian Connor for the same reason, Brandon Long was able to find a groove. He hit the crucial three point shot with just under three minutes to play in regulation, which sealed the game for the Rams.
Despite only shooting 44 percent, the Rams, like a few other times this season, found a way to win a pretty big game. Late in the second half, West Chester learned that Millersville had prevailed vs. Kutztown, forcing the Golden Rams into a position of win and keep playing or lose and stay home.
The victory over Mansfield eliminates the 2003 PSAC Champion Marauders from the post-season. The Golden Rams defeated Mansfield by working as a team. Antoine Lovelace contributed 13 points along with nine from Shawn Werdt who made seven of eight free throws including five of six within the final 39 seconds of the game.
The Golden Rams are now 16-11 overall and 6-6 in the PSAC East. Kofi Danquah put up 13 points, along with 13 rebounds. Sam Grannym also had 12 points of his own.
West Chester 81