MORRISTOWN, N.J. - The Gallaudet University men's basketball team remain undefeated in North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) play after defeating the College of Saint Elizabeth, 70-64, here Saturday during the second match-up of the 2016-17 season between the two teams.
Gallaudet (10-3, 8-0 NEAC) led St. Elizabeth (3-9, 2-6 NEAC) by as many as 11 points in the second half but the deficit dwindled to single digits in the final minute.
The Eagles cut the margin to four, 65-61, with just 36 seconds left in regulation. St. Elizabeth's Jason Saldiveri scored two of his team-high 19 points with two made free throws.
GU was going to have to win this game at the free-throw line as the Eagles fouled immediately to save time.
The Bison showed confidence as sophomore Jawaun Jackson (Downey, Calif.) and senior guard Raymond Nelson (Riverside, Calif.) stepped to the line. In the waning seconds, Jackson went 2-for-2 and Nelson went 3-for-4 from the free-throw line as Gallaudet hung on to its 10th win of the season and fourth straight.
With senior center Joshua McGriff (Somerset, N.J.) and freshman guard Noah Valencia (Riverside, Calif.) in foul trouble midway through the second half, Nelson, Jackson and junior forward Andy Cruz (Bronx, N.Y.) stepped up for the Bison.
Nelson and Cruz led the way for GU, each playing a game-high 38 minutes. Nelson scored a season-high 24 points while dishing out a career-high 10 assists to go with four rebounds. Cruz added 15 points and 13 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. Jackson netted a career-high 13 points and collected four rebounds.
Three different Eagles finished in double figures led by Saldiveri's 19.
Gallaudet led 36-29 at the half.
- GU is off to one of the best starts in program history
- McGriff had eight rebounds, five points, five steals and three blocks
- McGriff second block of the game was his 200th of his career
- Valencia racked up four points, four rebounds and four steals
- The Bison out-rebounded the Eagles by two, 48-46
- Gallaudet scored 14 second chance points off 15 offensive rebounds
- GU's bench was outscored 21-9
- Gallaudet scored 30 points in the paint
- Four GU starters racked up over 30 minutes of playing time
- The game featured four lead changes and seven ties
- The Bison defeated Saint Elizabeth 98-65 last weekend
The Bison remain on the road and will travel over to Williamsport, Pa., tomorrow (Sunday, Jan. 15) to complete the season series with Penn College. GU defeated the Wildcats (5-8, 3-5 NEAC) 78-71 last weekend in D.C.