Top-Seed IUP Men\'s Basketball hosts Mercyhurst in PSAC Quarterfinals on Wednesday
(W1)IUP Crimson Hawks (26-2, 21-1 PSAC)
vs. (W4) Mercyhurst Lakers (14-13, 11-11PSAC)
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 | 7:30 p.m.
Indiana, Pa. | Kovalchick Complex
Full Game Notes (PDF)
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THE GAME AT A GLANCE
The top-seeded Crimson Hawks welcome fourth-seed Mercyhurst to the Kovalchick Complex for the quarterfinals of thePSAC Championships. Tipoff on Wednesday is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. IUP earned home court advantage throughout the tournament after posting the best regular season record in PSAC history at 21-1. Mercyhurst advanced to the quarterfinals with an 88-73 victory over Slippery Rock in Monday\'s first round. The Crimson Hawks swept the regular season series with Lakers, including a 67-56 win at home.
The game will be broadcast on WQMU 92.5 FM with the voice of IUP Athletics, Jack Benedict, calling the action. You can also listen on u92radio.com and on the u92radio app on your smartphone.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
•IUP is making its 30th all-time appearance in the PSAC tournament, including it\'s 10th straight under HC Joe Lombardi; IUP also made 10 straight PSAC tournaments from 1993-02
• Lombardi is 14-6 all-time inPSAC tournament games dating back to 2008; He has a 6-3 record in the quarterfinal round, including a 67-59 win over Mercyhurst in 2015
•IUP\'s current 17-game win streak is the third longest in program history, and the longest in the Lombardi era; IUP won 24 straight in 1993-94 and 21 in 1994-95
• Lombardi is 14-8 all-time against Mercyhurst, including a 9-2 record at home against the Lakers
• The Crimson Hawks are 15-2 at home this season, outscoring opponents by 9.2 points per game
•IUP has shot 54.3 percent from the field in its previous two meetings with Mercyhurst, going 17-38 (44.7) from three-point range; The Crimson Hawks averaged 73.5 in their two games against the Lakers this year
• Mercyhurst is 5-7 this year away from home, including 0-3 against the top three teams from thePSAC West
IUP HAS DOMINATED THE PSAC WEST; 7 REGULAR SEASON TITLES IN 8 YEARS
Under HC Joe Lombardi, the Crimson Hawks have been the most successful team in thePSAC. Since Lombardi arrived in 2006, no other school has more PSAC tournament titles (three), division titles (seven), or tournament appearances (10). IUP has also earned berths in seven NCAA tournaments, including a pair of national championship game appearances in 2010 and 2015.
#2 NATIONAL RANKING IS HIGHEST UNDER LOMBARDI SINCE 2010-11 PRESEASON
The Crimson Hawks have moved up in each of the last eightNABC Division II Coaches Top 25 polls, going from No. 21 at the end of December to No. 2 this week. It\'s the best team ranking for IUP since being voted No. 2 in the 2010-11 preseason Top 25.
IUP BOASTS BALANCED SCORING; FIVE PLAYERS AVERAGE AT LEAST 9.7 POINTS PER GAME
The Crimson Hawks don\'t have one of the top scoring offenses in thePSAC, but they do boast balance. Five players average at least 9.7 points per game, including three who are scoring more than 13. So. F Jacobo Diaz (Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain/CBA Gran Canaria) leads the team with a 14.3 average, while Jr. G Anthony Glover (Toledo, Ohio/St. John\'s Jesuit) averages 13.7, and So. G Dante Lombardi (Indiana, Pa./The Kiski School) averages 13.3. Jr. F Blake Danielak (Georgetown, Tex./Liberty Hill) is IUP\'s highest scorer off the bench, averaging 9.7 points with 14 double-digit scoring games. All eight players in IUP\'s main rotation have hit double-figures at least three times this year, and six different Crimson Hawks have led the team in scoring.
TWO CRIMSON HAWKS AMONG TOP 10 IN PSAC IN THREE-POINTERS
Glover and Lombardi rank ninth and 10th, respectively, in thePSAC in three-pointers made. Glover\'s 67 and Lombardi\'s 64 threes are both in the top 20 in single season program history, and could threaten to break into the top five all-time (Jason Bullock, 86, 1994-95).
THIS YEAR\'S IUP TEAM THREATENING PROGRAM\'S THREE-POINT RECORD
Led by Glover and Lombardi, the Crimson Hawks are close to breaking the program\'s single season record for three-pointers made.IUP has made 267 through 28 games, just 15 away from tying the record of 282 set during the national finalist year of 2014-15. The Crimson Hawks average 9.5 threes made per game.
DANTE LOMBARDI ONE OF THE TOP THREE-POINT/ASSIST MEN IN THE PSAC
Lombardi is one of only two players in thePSAC with 60 three-pointers and 140 assists this season, ranking 10th in the league with 64 threes and sixth with 5.4 assists per game. He has a three-pointer in 33 straight games dating back to last season and has 12 games this year of at least six assists, including a career-high 11 at Seton Hill.
COBO\'s 11 DOUBLE-DOUBLES ARE SECOND IN PSAC, MOST FOR IUP PLAYER SINCE WEBB IN 2010-11
Diaz\'s 11 double-doubles this year are second most in thePSAC behind Shippensburg\'s Dustin Sleva (17). They\'re also the most for an IUP player since Darryl Webb posted 16 during his senior season of 2010-11, when he averaged 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. Diaz had a run of four straight double-double performances at the start of the season, and has 21 double-figure scoring and 15 double-figure rebounding games.
DEVON COTTRELL IS THE TOP SHOT BLOCKER IN SCHOOL HISTORY
R-Sr. F Devon Cottrell (Pittsburgh, Pa. /Gateway) ranks third in thePSAC with 48 blocks, a number that is currently fourth in IUP single season history. Already the program\'s career leader with 199 blocks, he boasts three of the top four single season shot blocking seasons in program history. Cottrell is also looking to become the eighth player in PSAC history with 200 career blocks.
CRIMSON HAWKS AMONG TOP FREE THROW SHOOTING TEAMS IN THE NATION
IUP is once again converting consistently from the foul line, ranking second in the PSAC and 13th in the nation at 77.6 percent (360-464). Lombardi is one of seven players shooting over 71.0 percent, leading the team and ranking ninth in the PSAC at 81.3 (78-96) percent.
IUP PERFORMING WELL IN THE FINAL FIVE MINUTES, SHOOTING 83 PERCENT FROM THE LINE IN THE CLUTCH
Not only are the Crimson Hawks one of the top free throw shooting teams in the nation, but they\'re even better in the clutch. In the last five minutes of games this season,IUP\'s free throw shooting skyrockets to 82.8 percent (111-134). Out of the seven players who have attempted a free throw in that time frame, none are converting below 70.0 percent, while Lombardi leads the way with an 89.1 (41-46) conversion rate.
NCAA ATLANTIC REGION RANKINGS
IUP moved up to No. 2 in last week\'s NCAA Division II Regional Rankings, after debuting at No. 3 the first week. These rankings determine the 64 teams selected to the NCAA tournament, with the top eight in each region earning berths. The No. 1 seed in each region hosts the eight-team regional tournament. The next regional rankings will be released in the afternoon of Wednesday, March 1.