Seton Hill knocks off Division-I opponent
By Matt Grubba
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 8:52 p.m.
It won't count on its record, but Seton Hill got the biggest win in its 10-year history of men's basketball.
The Griffins, coached by Trafford native Tony Morocco, pulled a preseason upset Nov. 6 when they picked up a win in Baltimore over Division-I Loyola (Md.), 72-67.
Exhibition or otherwise, it is the first time the still-growing program at Seton Hill, a Division II school, has beaten a team from the NCAA's top division. And as the only head coach in the program's history, Morocco was thrilled to see his team make another step forward.
“To beat a team of that caliber on their court in monumental,” Morocco said. “It gives our program so much credibility. It's the biggest win in my career here.”
Loyola is the preseason favorite to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title, which makes the win even more special for a Seton Hill program that has faced schools such as Pitt and Duquense in previous seasons.
Morocco has more than 30 years of coaching experience, including stops at Iowa and UNLV in his past, but helping establish a program so close to his hometown makes Seton Hill's successes so special to the coach.
“Penn-Trafford is my school. My son was a great player there on the 1994 team, and my daughter teaches there,” Morocco said.
“I'm a great believer in western Pennsylvania. Some people say basketball is down here, but we still have quality players that come from this area that we would love to have on our team. Of course, you don't always get everyone you want.”
Morocco's team has WPIAL representation in Hempfield grad Nate Perry, who had two crucial 3-pointers in a 15-5 run to pull the team ahead of Loyola, as well as Moon grad Brandon Lioi. But to build the program, he has also turned to recruiting players from basketball hotbeds, most notably the Baltimore/D.C. metro area, which four of his players call home.
Still, the coach's loyalty to his hometown and Westmoreland County in general make him want to turn the Seton Hill program into a top destination for this area's best players.
“I'd love to be able to have my pick of the best kids from here. I was born and raised in Trafford, and I really believe that the kids from this area could make us a big-time winner on the national level,” Morocco said.
As for this year's Griffins, who began their regular season this week, Morocco hopes the win over Loyala can propel the team to greater heights.
“I told our kids, ‘The win at Loyala was not the finish line; the future is the finish line,'” the coach said. “We have an enormously difficult schedule, and we have a young team, but I believe we can play with anybody in the country.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kovacevic: Keeping faith in Letang is simple
- Fleury, Crosby lead Penguins to victory over Sharks at Consol
- Steelers rookie RB Bell gets respect from teammates, foes alike
- Steelers lineman Adams gets 2nd chance to start
- Steelers notebook: Woodley practices but unsure where he’ll play
- With Pitt men ahead, gauntlet continues for Loyola Marymount
- Penguins notebook: Injury keeps Malkin out against Sharks
- Speedway opening McKeesport store, plans to build 3 more
- Dark Braddock setting of ‘Out of the Furnace’ reflects a dying way of life
- County takes lead on Monsour demolition
- McKeesport Area hosts student summit