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Second half collapse dooms Gallaudet against Morrisville St.

Second half collapse dooms Gallaudet against Morrisville St.

WASHINGTON – Gallaudet University played a superb first half on Saturday against Morrisville State College, the top men's basketball team in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC), and held a six-point lead early in the second half before the visiting Mustangs went on a game-changing run to win 75-56.

In a span of two minutes, the Mustangs (15-4, 9-1 NEAC North) erased the six-point GU lead, 37-31, and outscored the Bison 9-0. Senior guard Jocus Houston (Baton Rouge, La.) answered with one of his two 3-pointers in the contest to knot the game at 40 with 15:04 left in regulation. Morrisville added two free throws to take a brief 42-40 lead before senior guard Layton Seeber (Champaign, Ill.) knocked down a 3-pointer at the 14:10 mark, the last lead Gallaudet (9-13, 5-6 NEAC South) held.

Morrisville State took over the game as Gallaudet turned the ball over five times, committed three fouls and missed two shots in three and a half minutes as the Mustangs went on a 15-0 run and led 57-43 at the 10:27 mark.

Junior forward Tyler Crace (Westfield, Ind.) led the Bison with 13 points as he made 4-of-8 from 3-point range. Sophomore Ben Coleman (St. Paris, Ohio) came off the bench to net 12 points. Junior forward Orion Palmer (Riverside, Calif.) finished with nine points, four assists, three rebounds, three steals and one block. Senior Danny Kelly (Strongsville, Ohio) and Houston both chipped in eight points while Seeber recorded six points, four rebounds, four assists, one block and one steal.

Morrisville was paced by three players who finished in double figures, led by Brandon Hanks' 14 points and 10 rebounds to go with five assists and two steals. Mickey Davis added 12 points, four rebounds and three steals while Kucjok Ater netted 11 points off the bench.

The first half was a closely contested 20 minutes of basketball as neither team led by more than five points. The Mustangs led 21-17 with just under six minutes left before halftime. Crace made back-to-back 3-pointers and Seeber went to the free throw line and made his three attempts as the Bison led 26-21 with three minutes to go. The Bison took a five-point lead, 29-24, into intermission.

Gallaudet heads down the home stretch with three games left in the regular-season and all against Penn St. teams, who are sitting ahead of the Bison in the NEAC South Division standings. The Bison will host Penn St.-Harrisburg (9-11, 6-3 NEAC South) on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m.