BRYN ATHYN, Pa. - The Gallaudet University men's basketball team had to sweat out its North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) opener on the road here Tuesday night against Bryn Athyn College. The Bison (2-2, 1-0 NEAC), who had led by as much as 14 points with 12 minutes left, eked out a 69-66 victory over the Lions (1-3, 0-1 NEAC).
Bryn Athyn went on an 11-0 run in just under a four-minute span to erase a 49-35 Bison lead. The game remained close for the duration of the second half. GU took a nine-point lead, 67-58, on an Andy Cruz (Bronx, N.Y.) lay-up at the 1:23 mark. Two Bison fouls and two turnovers allowed Bryn Athyn back into the game. Deion Boyer took over and scored eight points in 46 seconds as he made 3-of-4 shots from the free throw line, drained a 3-pointer and added a lay-up. Boyer's last basket cut the GU lead to one, 67-66, with 19 seconds left in regulation.
Gallaudet hung on to win after junior Derek Keels (San Diego, Calif.) made two free throws in the waning seconds.
Cruz poured in a game-high 23 points as he made 9 of 16 shots from the field while senior Raymond Nelson (Riverside, Calif.) added 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Senior center Joshua McGriff (Somerset, N.J.) was limited to 14 minutes due to foul trouble. McGriff scored five points and grabbed five rebounds before picking up two quick fouls and fouling out of the game at the 7:44 mark in the second half.
Boyer led the Lions with 20 points followed by Devante Lewis (13 points), Lamar Crenshaw (11 points) and Stephan Tucker (10 points, 13 rebounds), who recorded a double-double.
GU took a 30-29 lead into halftime.
- Freshman center Connor Henze (Elk Point, S.D.) spelled McGriff and scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds in 10 minutes of action
- Freshman guard Noah Valencia (Riverside, Calif.) made two 3-pointers and added a free throw for seven points
- Keels and sophomore guard Jawaun Jackson (Downey, Calif.) added six points each
- Gallaudet held a 42-32 edge in points in the paint
- GU scored 17 second chance points off 17 offensive rebounds
- Bryn Athyn scored 28 points off 17 Gallaudet turnovers
- The game featured five lead changes and two ties
- GU went 2-2 during the month of November
Gallaudet will travel to Lancaster, Pa., on Friday evening to face defending conference champion Lancaster Bible College (0-2) at 7:30 p.m. in a NEAC game.