WASHINGTON - It was a hot start both figuratively and literally for the Gallaudet University men's basketball team here Saturday on Padden Court in the Field House before an Alumni Madness Day crowd of 323. The Bison, clad in hot pink cancer awareness uniforms supplied by Route 66 promotions, came out and scored three of their first four baskets to take an early lead over Cazenovia College in a North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) game.
The lead was short-lived as the visiting Wildcats quickly tied the game and ran past the Bison en route to a 78-64 win.
Cazenovia (11-9, 7-5 NEAC) made 10 of 16 shots from 3-point range in the first half to tally 43 points and take an eight-point lead, 43-35, into halftime.
Both teams cooled down in the second half as they shot 30 percent or less from the field.
Gallaudet (4-16, 4-8 NEAC) tied the game at 55 at the 9:15 mark in the second half, part of a 9-2 run, but couldn't regain the lead. Cazenovia scored the next 11 points, over a five-minute span, to make it an uphill climb for the Bison.
Junior center Steve Valencia-Biskupiak (Riverside, Calif.) and sophomore guard Preston Kelly (Fishers, Ind.) scored a team-best 17 points. Valencia-Biskupiak completed the double-double with 12 rebounds. Kelly added a game-high eight assists, seven boards and two steals. Sophomore guard Shawn Daniels (Lakeland, Fla.) reached double figures as he played hard and tallied 10 points, four rebounds and two steals.
Cazenovia's Lucci Vigliotti came off the bench to score a game-high 21 points as he went 13 of 15 from the free throw line.
- Senior forward Jamal Garner (Jacksonville, Ill.) recorded eight points, 10 rebounds
- Junior guard Noah Valencia (Riverside, Calif.) had nine points, three rebounds
- GU scored 36 points in the paint, the same total as the Bison women's team
- The Bison tallied 13 second-chance points
- The Wildcats received 32 points from their bench
Gallaudet will venture out of conference this Tuesday, Feb. 5, with a 7 p.m. home game against Widener University (11-10).