COBLESKILL, N.Y. – Freshman Joshua McGriff (Somerset, N.J.) made a game-winning jumper with 11 seconds left to lift Gallaudet University to a thrilling 52-50 win over SUNY Cobleskill on the Sunday in the Iorio Gymnasium. The victory is the first for the Bison men's basketball team on the road this season and fourth against North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) teams.
Gallaudet (5-10, 4-4 NEAC) led 32-26 going into the second half but the Bison surrendered their lead to the Fighting Tigers (3-11, 2-6 NEAC) with 13:40 left in regulation. SUNY Cobleskill, who was in the midst of a 10-3 run, added five more points to increase its lead to five, 40-35, with just over eight minutes left.
Junior guard Anton Jackson (Detroit, Mich.) made two free throws at the 3:15 mark to knot the game at 44. The Fighting Tigers responded with three jump shots to one additional Jackson free throw to take a 50-45 lead with 1:51 remaining.
GU junior Ben Coleman (St. Paris, Ohio) came through with a huge 3-pointer to pull the Bison to within two, 50-48, with 1:37 left. After a crucial missed shot by the host, McGriff tied the game at 50 with a basket as 51 seconds remained.
The Fighting Tigers marched up the court and Bison freshman guard Stephen Dean (Sacramento, Calif.) came out with a key steal against Alexis Nunez (10 points, eight assists). Gallaudet coach Brendan Stern called a 30 second timeout with 26 seconds left. Out of the timeout, the Bison set-up their game-winning play as senior Orion Palmer (Riverside, Calif.) found McGriff, who scored his 11th point of the game. SUNY Cobleskill missed a final 10-foot shot, which rattled out, at the buzzer.
Jackson paced the Bison offense with 13 points, four rebounds and two assists. McGriff (six rebounds, two blocks) was the next leading scorer followed by Palmer's 10 points, six rebounds and five assists. Coleman made 3 of 7 shots from 3-point range while sophomore Trey Gordon (Talladega, Ala.) added two 3-pointers in the win.
Gallaudet jumped out to a 19-6 lead in the first half just eight minutes in before SUNY Cobleskill roared back to pull within six at intermission. The Bison made 11 of 18 (61.7 percent) shots from the field, including 7 of 11 (63.6 percent) from 3-point range, in the first half.
The Bison return home to face first-place Lancaster Bible College (9-5, 7-0 NEAC) on Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 6 p.m. in another NEAC contest.