WASHINGTON – The Gallaudet men's basketball team fought hard against Lynchburg College but were unable to overcome the Hornets in the championship game of the GU Holiday Tournament on Saturday as they fell 87-69.
Gallaudet (1-6) came out of the gate firing as senior forward Orion Palmer (Riverside, Calif.) scored a quick jump shot 30 seconds into the contest. Right after a pair of Lynchburg free throws, junior guard Ben Coleman (St. Paris, Ohio) answered with a 3-pointer, as GU led 5-2 early. Unfortunately, for the Bison this was the last time they would hold a lead. The Hornets (6-2) gained momentum and went on a nine-point run and took a 15-point lead halfway through the first half. Gallaudet surged back behind the shooting of sophomore guard Trey Gordon (Talladega, Ala.) as he sank four 3-pointers in four minutes cutting the lead down to five, 39-34. Lynchburg took a 10-point lead, 46-36, into halftime.
The Bison kept it close to start the second half but the Hornets were too much, as they extended their lead to 23 with just over two minutes left in the game.
Palmer played an aggressive game as he scored 19 points for the Bison and added a game-high eight assists to go with four rebounds. Freshman forward Joshua McGriff (Somerset, N.J.) threw down a couple thunderous left-handed dunks as he went on to score 15 points and grab six rebounds. Gordon helped give the Bison momentum with his four threes, as he posted 14 points for the Bison.
The Hornets were led by tournament MVP Manny Hernandez who was the leading scorer of the game after made 9 of 16 shots from the field for 23 points off the bench. Right behind him was all-tournament guard Zack Burnett, who continued to show he was a deep threat as he went 4-for-6 from downtown en route to scoring 14 points for the Hornets.
Valley Forge Christian College and Maryland Bible played in a close consolation game, prior to the championship match, that was decided in the final seconds of the game. The Patriots were trailing by two with under a minute to go but were able to force the Soldiers into a turnover, giving them an opportunity to take the lead. VFCC (6-3) took advantage and sank a last second 3-pointer, which was enough to give them the victory, 62-61. The Patriots were led by Lance Harris who scored 25 points, grabbed eight boards and was selected to the all-tournament team. Guard Maurice Byers took over for Maryland Bible as he scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebound of his own. Freshman forward Slav Marinov (eight points, 15 rebounds, one block) was the Solider representative on the all-tournament team.
The Bison get a week off before their next game as they travel to Goucher College in Towson, Md., to take on the Gophers in a non-conference game on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m.
2013 GU Holiday Tournament
Lynchburg: Manny Hernandez (MVP)
Lynchburg: Zack Burnett
Gallaudet: Trey Gordon
Gallaudet: Orion Palmer
Maryland Bible: Slav Marinov
Valley Forge: Lance Harris