WASHINGTON - The Gallaudet University men's basketball team was able to go up late in the second half and hold on, 58-57, in a down to the wire win Saturday over Keuka College in a North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) game in the Field House.
Keuka (4-6, 2-3 NEAC) came out firing in the second half, starting off with a 3-pointer and going up by four, 31-27. The Bison (2-8, 1-2 NEAC) kept it close throughout the second half, with seven ties and eight lead changes, but several key 3-point shots were able to give them a four-point lead, 58-54, going into the final two minutes. After a late timeout by Gallaudet, the Storm were able to hit a quick 3-pointer and cut the lead to one, 58-57. With only 1:46 left in the game, both teams had the opportunity to take full control of the game and seal the victory, but after two missed shots by the Storm and three turnovers by the Bison, no further points were scored.
Saturday's win broke a three-game losing streak for Gallaudet. The Bison were lead by junior guard Anton Jackson (Detroit, Mich.) and freshman forward Joshua McGriff (Somerset, N.J.), who contributed 12 points each. Freshman guard Stephen Dean (Sacramento, Calif.) played an important role in giving the Bison momentum throughout the game with his three 3-pointers. He finished the game 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Trey Gordon (Talladega, Ala.), junior guard Ben Coleman (St. Paris, Ohio) and senior forward Orion Palmer (Riverside, Calif.) contributed in the win with eight points each, including a game-high four assists from Palmer.
The Bison played a great defensive game as they made nine steals and blocked three shots. Gordon had a game-high five steals while McGriff accounted for two of the team's three blocks. Palmer was able to grab a game-high 10 rebounds, with McGriff not far behind with nine, which helped lead to 18 second chance points.
Gallaudet won the opening tip-off and from there experienced a defensive battle with Keuka, seeing no points scored in the first two minutes. The Bison were able to go on an 8-0 scoring run early. Gallaudet demonstrated good defense and held the Storm scoreless for the first six minutes of play. A crucial technical foul slowed the Bison momentum and allowed the Storm to go on a four-point scoring drive and cut the lead to one, 8-7. The Storm continued to fight back and took the lead after two consecutive 3-pointers, which contributed to an eight point scoring drive that was halted by a Bison timeout.
After regrouping the Bison came out focused and ended the Storm's scoring drive with a 3-pointer by Dean. That was followed by a Gordon 3-pointer, as GU trailed by one, 23-22, with 3:40 left before intermission. Foul troubles slowed the Bison and allowed the Storm to pull further away and go up by six, 28-22. After a key 3-point shot from Dean and a half-ending steal from Gordon the Bison were able to go into halftime down one, 28-27.
Keuka has now lost four of its last five games. The Storm were led by Trevor Healey, who scored a game-high 19 points, going 7-for-11 at the free throw line. Adam Starks scored 15 points as he made four 3-point shots. The two players accounted for 34 of Keuka's 57 points.
The Bison will only be able to enjoy the win for a short period of time before they refocus and get prepared for tomorrow's (Sunday, Jan. 12) home NEAC contest with Wells College at noon.