CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Gallaudet University men's basketball team completed the best regular season in school history here Saturday. The Bison eked out a 94-85 road North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) contest over Wilson College to reach 20 wins for the first time in program history.
Gallaudet (20-5, 18-2 NEAC South) claimed the 2016-17 NEAC South Division regular-season championship and will host the conference tournament next weekend. The Bison hold the head-to-head victory over SUNY Poly (19-6, 16-2 NEAC North), the NEAC North Division champions. GU receives a bye in the quarterfinals and advances to Saturday's semifinal round. This is GU's first NEAC men's basketball regular-season championship since joining the conference in 2010-11.
The Bison controlled the game early over Wilson (7-18, 6-14 NEAC). GU's largest lead in the game was 21 points with three minutes left before halftime. The Phoenix cut into the lead and only trailed the Bison by 12 at halftime, 47-35.
Wilson chipped away at Gallaudet's lead in the second half and got as close as two points, twice, before the Bison responded with their own run. GU clung to a 66-64 lead at the 8:25 mark before going on a 14-0 run in four minutes to gain some breathing room.
Things got uncomfortable for GU in the final minutes as Wilson's Ian Frazier (18 points) hit some key buckets. Rashaan Bean (11 points, eight assists) made a 3-pointer with 51 seconds left in regulation to trim Gallaudet's lead to three, 85-82. GU sealed the game at the foul line as it made 9 of 10 shots in the closing seconds.
Senior center Joshua McGriff (Somerset, N.J.) was the leading scorer for Gallaudet with 21 points, six rebounds, six assists and five blocks. Freshman guard Noah Valencia (Riverside, Calif.) went 4-for-4 from behind the 3-point line as he recorded 18 points and four rebounds. Senior guard Raymond Nelson (Riverside, Calif.) had 15 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Wilson's Keion Adams poured in a game-high 39 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals in the loss.
- McGriff is third in NCAA Division III for blocks (85)
- The Bison are ninth in blocks (134) in NCAA Division III
- Sophomore guard Jawaun Jackson (Downey, Calif.) racked up 11 points and two steals
- Senior center Shawn Harrington (Frederick, Md.) posted 10 points and nine rebounds
- Junior forward Andy Cruz (Bronx, N.Y.) had eight points, four rebounds and three assists
- The Bison shot 6-for-9 (66.7 percent) from 3-point range
- This is the second most points (94) that GU has scored in a game this season
- GU outscored Wilson in the paint 62-30
Gallaudet will host the NEAC men's basketball tournament semifinals and championship games next weekend (Feb. 25-26) in the Field House. The Bison are the No. 1 overall seed and will face the quarterfinal winner between Wells College and Morrisville State College on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. The winner will advance to Sunday's championship game. Complete details of the 2017 NEAC Men's Basketball Tournament can be found here.