Tomcats rally in final minute to beat GCC


GREENVILLE, PA, February 6, 2002--Sophomore point guard Justin Townsend scored the game-winning bucket with two-tenths of a second left in regulation as the Thiel Tomcats rallied from a seven-point deficit in the final minute to defeat visiting Grove City, 64-63, Wednesday night in Greenville.

With the victory, Thiel (10-12, 4-2 PAC) assumed sole possession of second place in the PAC, while Grove City (15-7, 3-3 PAC) fell into third place with two league games remaining.

Trailing 60-53 with less than a minute to go, Thiel used a pair of three-pointers by Eric Hemsing and one by Shane Manley to cut the margin to one, 63-62, with seven seconds left.  The Tomcats then forced a Grove City turnover with 3.6 seconds showing and won it on Townsend's driving lay-up in the final second.

The improbable comeback overshadowed a career night for Wolverine freshman Ryan Eller (Erie, PA/Iroquois), who came off the bench to score a game-high 22 points in 21 minutes of action.  Eller was a perfect 8-for-8 from the floor and 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.

Senior Pat Roberts (Home, PA/Marion Center) finished with 10 points, six rebounds and five assists, while junior Andy Vlajkovich (Canfield, OH/Canfield) also chipped in 10 points.

The Wolverines knocked down 19 of 23 free throws, but went 0-for-12 from behind the three-point arc.  Thiel earned the regular-season sweep despite making just 4 of 15 shots from the charity stripe and being outrebounded, 34-25.  The Tomcats canned 8 of 19 from three-point range.

Grove City led at halftime, 29-26.

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