It’s about time: Gannon goes down


Ali Single

Joe Batt scores with little challenge to help the Mountain Cats defeat the Golden Knights by 11 points Feb. 2 at the Wellness Center.

Justin Schmithorst, Managing Editor

For the first time in three years, the Pitt-Johnstown men’s basketball team defeated Gannon University Feb. 2.

Men’s basketball head coach Bob Rukavina said that the score was 76-65, and that the 11-point victory felt great, as Gannon is usually one of the best teams in the conference. 

According to Rukavina, during practice, he emphasized rebounding and toughness. 

“We out-rebounded (in rebounding) them by 11 (in the game), and they led the PSAC West (Division),” Rukavina said. 

There also was a new member to the 1,000-point club in the game, as junior guard Josh Wise became the 30th Pitt-Johnstown player to hit the milestone. 

Wise said that the achievement gave him an amazing feeling as he became a member of an elite club. 

“It’s something I’ll cherish forever,” Wise said. “I want to thank all of my teammates that I’ve had here at Pitt-Johnstown along the way. Without my teammates and the coaches, this isn’t a realistic goal,” Wise said. 

According to Wise, this stands as a testament to how selfless the basketball players are, and how this system helps players flourish. 

Wise said that the victory was the best one he’s had in his three-year career at Pitt-Johnstown. 

“Gannon University is  just a team that we couldn’t get over the hump, so with being able to hold the ball at the top of the key with time winding down was a great feeling,” Wise said. 

Rukavina said that he was grateful to see Wise reach 1,000 points during the game with Gannon University. 

“He works so hard every day at practice. He’s getting better and better in every aspect of his game, and still hasn’t reached his overall potential. He is a tremendous athlete,” Rukavina said. 

Rukavina also said that he hopes that this victory gives men’s basketball team members’ confidence for the rest of the season. 

“Momentum is kind of an abstract concept. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and, sometimes, things change for the good or for the bad for no apparent reason,” Rukavina said. 

According to Rukavina, the victory against Gannon was the season’s best performance. 

“It’s crunch time, and the intensity level and focus has to be at its peak,” Rukavina said.

According to Rukavina, one of the things he hopes to help the players through the schedule’s critical part is that there are three home games left on the schedule, and the team is undefeated at home this season with 10 wins. 

“Those three games are against three teams above us in the standings,” Rukavina said. “Those games are going to be quite challenging.”