WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the first time in three years there will be a new men's basketball champion of the Gallaudet University Holiday Tournament as defending champion Gallaudet was dethroned by Maryland Bible College 64-61 on Saturday night at the Field House. The Soldiers (1-2), who led the majority of the game, stave off a comeback bid by the Bison (2-2) who took a brief one-point lead with seven minutes left in regulation. GU never allowed the Maryland Bible lead to go above six points down the stretch. The Soldiers sank a few free throws in the waning seconds to secure their first win of the season.
Maryland Bible will face Embry-Riddle University (6-1) in the tournament championship game on Sunday, November 28, at 6 p.m. The Bison will take on Medgar Evers College (2-3) in the 2 p.m. consolation game. Embry-Riddle dispatched the Cougars in the other men's game on Saturday as the Eagles, ranked No. 5 in the NAIA ranks, won 87-60.
The three-point win by the Soldiers over the Bison adds another chapter into this budding rivalry. In the past four years these two teams have squared off six times, three of the meetings came in the GU Holiday Tournament. Gallaudet downed Maryland Bible in back-to-back appearances in the tournament championship game including last season's 96-85 win to give GU its second straight Holiday Tournament title. Five of the meetings have been decided by six points or less. Gallaudet currently holds a 4-2 series lead since 2006.
GU was paced by junior Layton Seeber (Champaign, Ill.) as the forward scored a game-high 19 points. Seeber added seven rebounds, four steals and three assists in the loss. Junior guard Tony Tatum (Gardendale, Ala.) matched Seeber's totals for rebounds, steals and assists as he finished with 10 points. Sophomore forward Danny Kelly (Strongsville, Ohio) came off the bench to chip in nine points and four rebounds. Junior guard Brandon McMillan (Frederick, Md.) added seven points and four rebounds for the Bison.
Maryland Bible was led by center Mike Holden's 18 points while Kevin Taylor came off the bench to record a double-double that consisted of 14 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Forward Quintin Harris was the other Soldier in double figures with 10 points.
The Soldiers led 33-24 at halftime as they shot 45.5 percent from the field in the first half and finished with the same total for the game. Gallaudet shot 26.5 percent from the field in the first half and improved on that total in the second half as the Bison shot 36.1 percent in the final 20 minutes of play. The Soldiers outrebounded the Bison 48-39 and edged the Bison 13-5 on second chance points and held a 23-21 advantage on bench points.
GU Holiday Tournament
Sunday, Nov. 28
Consolation: Medgar Evers vs. Gallaudet, 2 p.m.
Championship: Embry-Riddle vs. Maryland Bible, 6 p.m.