WASHINGTON – Gallaudet University found itself in an uphill battle for the majority of Thursday night's North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) men's basketball clash with South Division foe Bryn Athyn College at the Field House.
In a highly competitive second half, the Bison came back from being down 12 to tie the game twice but could never regain the lead from the visiting Lions. In the end, Bryn Athyn snapped a 12-game losing streak, dating back to last year, and won 62-56 as it handed the Bison their first conference loss this season.
Sophomore guard Raymond Nelson (Riverside, Calif.) scored 12 of his team-high 20 points in the second half to pace Gallaudet (6-3, 2-1 NEAC). Junior Trey Gordon (Talladega, Ala.), who entered the game as the leading scorer in the NEAC, was held to just 13 points as he made 4 of 12 shots, including two three-pointers, and grabbed four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 37 minutes played. Sophomore Joshua McGriff (Somerset, N.J.) and junior Todd Bonheyo (Frederick, Md.) recorded eight points each. McGriff grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and tallied five blocks. Freshman forward Andy Cruz (Bronx, N.Y.) scored seven points and seven rebounds in his first collegiate start.
Bryn Athyn (1-9, 1-2 NEAC) was led by guard Deion Boyer's 23 points, four assists and three steals while Jihaad Fluellen scored 12 points off the bench for the Lions.
GU found itself in a vigorous scuffle with the scrappy Lions in the second half. Bryn Athyn opened the half on a 12-2 run and later took a 37-27 lead to force GU to use a second timeout in the first six minutes of play. The Lions' lead grew to 12, 41-29, before the Bison started to chip away at the margin. In just five minutes, Gallaudet closed the gap to 41-40 as it used an 11-0 run and capitalized on seven Bryn Athyn turnovers.
Nelson knotted the game at 43 at the 7:09 mark before the Lions regained a slim lead until Nelson made two free throws to the tie the game at 53 with 2:15 left in regulation. Boyer made a key three-pointer then four straight free throws down the stretch to help seal the win.
Gordon made two three-pointers to start the game as Gallaudet led 6-0 in the first two minutes of play. Bryn Athyn took its first lead at the 11:48 mark on a Boyer three-pointer as the Lions led 10-8. The Bison went on a 6-0 run over the final two minutes of the first half to take a 20-18 lead into halftime.
GU will next hit the road and face Penn College (2-8, 1-3 NEAC) on Saturday, Jan. 10, at 4 p.m. These two teams met earlier this season when Gallaudet won 85-50 on Nov. 23.