CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - An unlucky bounce ended the Gallaudet University men's basketball season here Tuesday night as the Bison's bid for an upset in the 2018 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) tournament quarterfinal game against Wilson College fell short, 75-73.
Gallaudet (9-17) came back from being down by 10 points to the Phoenix (20-6) in the second half and had a chance to win it at the buzzer.
Wilson's Ian Frazier missed his second free throw attempt with three seconds left in regulation. Senior forward Andy Cruz (Bronx, N.Y.) grabbed the rebound and threw it ahead to sophomore guard Noah Valencia (Riverside, Calif.), who had enough time to get a three-pointer off. Valencia's shot reached the rim but it bounced off the front of the iron and fell towards the ground, just missing a miraculous finish in favor of the Bison, as the final horn sounded.
In the final four minutes of the second half, GU trailed by eight points but Valencia and junior guard Jawaun Jackson (Downey, Calif.) hit three straight three-pointers to cut the margin to three, 67-64.
Freshman Preston Kelly (Fishers, Ind.) helped down the stretch as he made back-to-back layups to pull GU to within one points, 71-70, with 28 seconds left. The teams traded free throws before Frazier made only 1 of 2 at the line with three seconds left.
Jackson, who scored 16 of his career-high 22 points in the first half, helped GU build a 25-19 lead midway through the first half before Wilson responded and took a 41-34 lead at the break.
Valencia finished with 23 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists. Cruz finished his career with another double-double as he scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to go with four steals and four assists. Kelly made his return and scored nine points, all in the second half, to go with five assists and four steals.
Frazier led the Phoenix offense with 20 points while Zachary Powell (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Willie McDowell (15 points, 12 assists) posted double-doubles in the win. Wilson advances to face Lancaster Bible in the NEAC semifinals on Saturday, Feb. 24.
- Gallaudet scored 36 points in the paint
- GU had 12 fastbreak points
- The Bison scored 18 points off 19 turnovers made by Wilson
- Wilson held a 40-37 edge in rebounds
- The game featured eight lead changes and three ties
This concludes the 2017-18 season for the Gallaudet men's basketball team.