Season opener: SU’s men’s basketball defeats VA Union

SU’s men’s basketball defeated Virginia Union in its season opener, with seven Raiders scoring seven or more points to achieve the win.

The Raiders used a late charge to get past Virginia Union in its 2021-22 season opener, defeating the Panthers 71-65 at the Trojan Tip-Off Classic hosted by Virginia State University.

How it happened

Shippensburg (1-0) and Virginia Union (0-1) were tied 53-53 with 7:40 remaining when the Raiders used a 12-2 run to pull away. SU was 26-of-34 (76.5 percent) at the free-throw line, including 20-of-25 (80.0 percent) in the second half (17of-21 over the final seven minutes), and committed just nine turnovers.

Redshirt-freshman Andrew Recchia (Mars, Pa./Mars Area) was among the players making their Raider debut Friday night and ended up leading the team in scoring, totaling 15 points in just 12 minutes of action. Recchia was 9-of-9 at the free-throw line and hit a key three-pointer during SU’s second-half run.

SU had balanced scoring, as seven different players contributed at least seven points. Redshirt-junior Dom Sleva (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour) made his second collegiate start and finished with 13 points, a team-high nine rebounds and three assists. Junior Carlos Carter (Indiana, Pa./Indiana) had 10 points, three rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

Senior Kiyon Hardy (Philadelphia, Pa./The Shipley School (Kutztown)) and redshirt-junior Rashon Johnson (Philadelphia, Pa./Simon Gratz (Highland C.C.)) each contributed nine points; Hardy also had five assists.

Junior Luke Nedrow (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic (Marist)) delivered seven points, eight rebounds, two steals and a career-high five blocks – SU finished the night with nine blocks. Freshman Michael Dunn (Washington, Pa./Trinity) contributed eight points off the bench, including a pair of three-pointers.

Virginia Union finished the night 2-of-16 from three-point range but grabbed 22 offensive rebounds that led to 15 second-chance points.

What’s next

SU’s men’s basketball will face host Virginia State at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Trojans defeated Mansfield 101-73 on Friday night.

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