UTICA, N.Y. – When the 2010-11 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) men's basketball schedule was released Saturday's road game at defending conference champion SUNYIT was one of the key games circled for Gallaudet University in its first year in the NEAC. The Bison battled toe-to-toe with the Wildcats, who entered the year nationally ranked in the preseason, but time ran out on the GU rally as it lost 68-65.
The Bison (7-4, 4-2), who are tied for third in the conference standings, can hold their heads high as their performance against the Wildcats (4-7, 3-2) shows Gallaudet belongs in the upper echelon of the 10-team league.
SUNYIT led by as much as nine, 64-55, with just over two minutes left in regulation. The Bison closed the gap to two when senior guard Luther Weedon (Walkersville, Md.) drained his fifth and final 3-pointer on the afternoon. Weedon's three cut the Wildcat lead to two, 65-63, with 29 seconds left on the clock. GU pulled to within one when sophomore forward Danny Kelly (Strongsville, Ohio) scored a lay-up with 12 seconds left. Kelly had an opportunity to give Gallaudet a lead but his 3-pointer with five seconds on the clock came up empty.
Weedon scored a season best 20 points to pace the Bison in the loss. He made 5-of-13 attempts from 3-point range and netted 14 of his points in the second half. Junior guard Tony Tatum (Gardendale, Ala.) earned his first double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds while fellow junior Layton Seeber (Champaign, Ill.) was a rebound and assist shy of a triple-double as he accumulated 11 points, nine rebounds and passed out nine assists. Kelly was the fourth Bison in double figures with 10 points and seven boards.
The Wildcats were led by senior forward David Golembiowski's 23 points and six rebounds as the preseason fourth team All-American named by D3hoops.com scored 12 of his points in the second half. Kevin Cappiello added 12 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals while Calvin Logins chipped in 10 points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists.
Gallaudet scored the game's first four points but SUNYIT gained the lead early and held it for the majority of the game. Weedon drained a 3-pointer with seven minutes left before halftime as the Wildcats led 24-23. SUNYIT went on a 9-0 run over the next five minutes. The Wildcats took a 37-29 lead into halftime but not before Weedon hit a three-pointer with a second left to help the Bison cut into the SUNYIT margin.
The Bison trailed 51-43 at the 9:02 mark in the second half but a quick 8-0 run, six points from Weedon, tied the game at 51 with 6:28 left. Seeber made a basket at the 5:39 mark to give Gallaudet its first lead since the opening minute of the game as the Bison led 53-52. SUNYIT went on an 11-3 run from there.
GU remains on the road and in conference action where it will face SUNY Cobleskill on Sunday, January 9, at 2 p.m.