WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Wednesday night showdown between Gallaudet University and Penn St.-Harrisburg came down to the final seconds between the two North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) programs at the Field House. The Bison trailed the top team in the conference by one point and had the ball with several seconds left in the game. An errant inbound pass by Gallaudet, after a timeout, was stolen by the Nittany Lions to preserve the 70-69 win.
Gallaudet (7-9, 5-3 NEAC South Division) led by a point with a minute left before Harrisburg (13-3, 6-0 NEAC South) tried to tie or take the lead. The Nittany Lions missed a three-point attempt by guard Jordan Gatchell (eight points) with 36 seconds left in regulation. Penn St.-Harrisburg was then forced to foul Gallaudet senior forward Layton Seeber (Champaign, Ill.), who went to the free-throw line with 25 seconds left and a one-and-one opportunity. Seeber, who made 4 of 6 attempts from the charity stripe in the game, missed the attempt and the Nittany Lion senior forward Kenton Alston (20 points, eight rebounds) came down with the loose ball. Harrisburg took the lead on a David Reisinger (nine points, six rebounds) layup with five seconds left.
The Bison had three players in double figures led by Seeber's 18 points, eight rebounds and game-high three blocks. Senior guard Tony Tatum (Gardendale, Ala.) grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds en route to his second double-double of the season as he scored 12 points and passed out a game-high five assists and made a team-high two steals in 34 minutes of action. Senior guard Brandon McMillan (Frederick, Md.) netted 11 of his 17 points in the first half as he added five rebounds and four assists in the loss.
Gallaudet took a 40-35 lead into halftime but stumbled out of the gates in the second half as the Bison committed four turnovers in the first two minutes while Harrisburg went on a 9-0 run to take a 44-40 lead. Turnovers were the Achilles' heel for GU tonight as the Bison turned the ball over 34 times (20 in the second half), which is a new season-high mark. Harrisburg took advantage of those opportunities and scored 29 points off Bison turnovers and came up with 23 steals.
A positive for the Bison were their dominance on the glass as they brought down a season-high 49 rebounds (40 on the defensive end) as Harrisburg jacked up 83 shots from the field. The Nittany Lions only shot 33.7 percent from the field (28-for-83), the lowest shooting percentage by a Bison opponent this season, while Gallaudet made 28 of 53 from the field (52.8 percent) and 5 of 12 (41.7 percent) from three-point range. The close-knit game featured 14 lead changes and six ties as the largest lead by either team was held to single digits (eight).
GU wraps up its four-game homestand on Sunday, Jan. 22, at noon against NEAC foe SUNY Cobleskill.