Vlajkovich sinks game-winner in 56-53 victory
GROVE CITY, PA, January 20, 2001--Sophomore Andy Vlajkovich (Canfield, OH/Canfield) nailed a three-pointer with four seconds left, giving Grove City a 56-53 triumph over cross-county rival and defending league champion Thiel on Saturday afternoon at the College Arena.
The Wolverines improved to 10-6 overall, 1-1 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference, while Thiel fell to 6-11 overall, 0-1 in the PAC.
Vlajkovich's game-winning bucket marked Grove City's first lead since the 18:52 mark of the second half. Thiel rallied from a 33-29 halftime deficit with a 14-2 run to take a 43-35 edge with 12:30 left to play. The Wolverines tied the game, 46-46, with 8:43 showing, but Thiel then distanced itself by four, 53-49, with 3:00 remaining. Junior Pat Roberts (Home, PA/Marion Center) cut the margin in half, 53-51, with a tip-in at the 2:19 juncture. After both teams exchanged missed jumpers, Grove City knotted the score with 1:08 to go when junior Chris Kreider (Hummelstown, PA/Lower Dauphin) netted a pair of free throws after getting fouled off a steal. The Tomcats again turned the ball over with 39 seconds left, setting up Vlajkovich's game-winner on a kick-out from Roberts.
Grove City led by as many as 14 points in the first half (25-11) before Thiel went on an 18-8 run in the final 6:40 before the break.
Vlajkovich finished with 16 points, tying his career high set earlier this year at Denison. Roberts recorded 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds, while freshman Jim Fetzner (Erie, PA/Cathedral Prep) added 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting, including a 3-for-4 clip from behind the arc. Kreider had eight points, hitting 3 of 3 from the floor, 2 of 2 from the line and dished out a game-best six assists.
Ivan Cilik led the Tomcats with 14 points and eight boards.
The Wolverines shot 46.7% from the floor, improving to 10-0 when they shoot 45% or better. Thiel was held to 40.9% shooting.
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