WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senior guard Layton Seeber (Champaign, Ill.) knocked down 26 points for Gallaudet University as the Bison hosted their annual GU Holiday Tournament and tangled with Salisbury University in the first round. The Sea Gulls withstood a fierce comeback from the Bison, 88-84, here Friday before a crowd of 260 that ventured onto Gallaudet's closed campus.
Seeber scored 17 of his 26 points in the second half including eight in the game's final four minutes in which the Bison staged a late rally. Down 17 points with 4:09 left on the clock, Seeber hit a three-pointer to spark Gallaudet. Junior forward Tyler Crace (Westfield, Ind.) added a quick lay-up and junior forward Orion Palmer (Riverside, Calif.) knocked down a big three-pointer to draw the Bison within nine with 3:36 left to play. After exchanging free throws, Seeber, Crace and senior guard Jocus Houston (Baton Rouge, La.) connected on three more three-pointers and senior center Danny Kelly (Strongsville, Ohio) added a lay-up to bring the Bison within four with 14 seconds left in regulation. That was a close as the Bison would get, however, as the Sea Gulls converted on a number of free throws down the stretch to keep the game just out of reach of the Bison.
Senior guard Travon Vann was phenomenal in the contest for Salisbury as he recorded a double-double with 36 points and 10 rebounds in 33 minutes of play. He also added five assists and two steals as he made 11-of-15 shots from the field. Senior center Trent Epps also played well for the Sea Gulls as he scored 14 points and pulled down five boards. Senior guard Elijah Gore was the third Salisbury player to reach double figures as he scored 11 points in just 16 minutes of play.
The Bison (2-2) went into halftime tied with the Sea Gulls at 34 apiece before falling behind and making the late-game comeback effort. Palmer led all Gallaudet scorers at the half with 11 points. He finished the contest with 19 points, nine rebounds, and a team-high seven assists. Kelly also contributed 19 points for the Bison, 13 of which came in the second half. In addition, the senior pulled down seven rebounds and dished out four assists.
Salisbury (4-1) won the game despite connecting on 50 percent of its shots while Gallaudet posted a field goal percentage of 60 percent. The Sea Gulls outshot the Bison beyond the arc, however, hitting 12 three-pointers compared to nine from Gallaudet. Salisbury also maintained an advantage at the free throw line, going 22-of-27 for a free throw percentage of 74.1 percent. The Bison went 15-of-22 (68.2 percent).
Gallaudet will return to the court tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 24) at 2 p.m. to take on St. Joseph's (N.Y.) College - Brooklyn in the consolation game in the Field House. The Bears lost 68-63 to Valley Forge Christian College in the other men's first round game. Salisbury and Valley Forge will play in the 6 p.m. championship game.