WASHINGTON – The Gallaudet University men's basketball team will host its first North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) playoff game on Tuesday night (Feb. 24) at 7 p.m. in the Field House against Penn St.-Abington. The GU athletics department invites the campus community to come out and show its Buff and Blue spirit by cheering on the Bison in this NEAC tournament first round game.
Gallaudet (18-6, 14-4 NEAC) closed out the regular-season schedule with a thrilling 81-78 win on the road against conference foe Penn St.-Berks this past Saturday. The Bison are the second seed in the NEAC South Division and are in the midst of the most successful season in school history. Gallaudet has set school records for wins (18), conference wins (14), consecutive wins in a season (10) and are ranked sixth in NCAA Division III for field goal percentage defense (37.8).
The Series: Gallaudet holds a 6-4 series advantage over Penn St.-Abington since 2010. The Bison won the first four meetings before losing four straight. GU has won both meetings this season and are 3-2 against the Nittany Lions in the Field House. This is the first meeting between the two schools in a NEAC tournament game.
We Meet Again: The Bison defeated the Nittany Lions twice this season in two 11-point wins. GU traveled to Abington, Pa., on Jan. 6 in the first meeting this season. Junior forward Trey Gordon (Talladega, Ala.) led the way to a 84-73 victory with 29 points. Sophomore forward Joshua McGriff (Somerset, N.J.) and sophomore guard Raymond Nelson (Riverside, Calif.) also put up double digits scoring 17 and 10 points, respectively. Abington's Dequan Jackson tried to keep pace with Gordon, but was four points shy as he ended the first match-up with 25 points. Max Alton scored 18 points for the Nittany Lions in the loss.
GU hosted Abington on Jan. 28 which resulted in a 71-60 win where Gordon once again led the Bison scorers with 19 points. Senior guard Ben Coleman (St. Paris, Ohio) drained five three-pointers for a total of 15 points while Nelson had 12 points and McGriff played big under the net to pull down 12 rebounds and block three shots. Abington's Alton and Jackson led the Nittany Lions once again with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Scouting the Bison: The Bison boasts the top defense in the conference and one of the toughest in the nation as opponents only average 61.6 points per game. Gordon is the fourth leading scorer in the NEAC with a 17.8 points per game average and is the top three-point shooter in the conference. The junior forward knocks down 45.9 percent of his long range shots and has made 78 three-pointers this season. McGriff is the top shot blocker in the NEAC with 41 blocks and is a threat in the post to come down with key offensive rebounds. He is also second in the conference with a 57.1 field goal percentage. Nelson is the second leading scorer on GU as he averages 14 points a game followed by McGriff's 11.8 average. Freshman forward Andy Cruz (Bronx, N.Y.) has compiled great numbers during his rookie season while junior guard Todd Bonheyo (Frederick, Md.) keeps the offense moving with his 4.5 assists per game average.
Scouting the Nittany Lions: Penn St.-Abington (9-16, 8-10 NEAC) is the No. 3 seed in the NEAC South Division. The Nittany Lions have won their last two games but are 3-8 on the road this season. Abington is the leading scoring team in the NEAC as they average 76.3 points per game. Jackson leads the NEAC in scoring with a 19.3 points per game average while Alton is the third leading scorer in the conference with an 18.3 average. D Jones is the fourth leading rebounder as he brings down 8.0 boards per game. Alton is also a threat from three-point range as he is fourth in the conference with a 42.9 percentage.
Ticket Information: Gates will open one hour prior to the start of the game. General admission tickets will be $5.00 at the door. Gallaudet University full-time students get free admission to the game with valid University ID. Children under 12 are free.
Follow the Game: If you can not make it to the Field House to watch the game in-person you can follow along online. The Gallaudet Sports Information Office will operate live statistics and live video. Click on this link: http://www.gallaudetathletics.com/livestats/index.