Wolverines headed to PAC title game
GREENVILLE, PA, February 21, 2002--Sophomore Tanner Prosser (Pittsburgh, PA/Brentwood) exploded for a season-high 29 points and senior Pat Roberts (Home, PA/Marion Center) pulled down a career-best 17 rebounds as the third-seeded Grove City Wolverines advanced to the Presidents' Athletic Conference championship game with a 77-62 win over the second-seeded Thiel Tomcats in Greenville Thursday night.
The Wolverines will shoot for their fifth PAC title Saturday night against the top-seeded Bethany Bison, who defeated fourth-seeded Waynesburg on Thursday, 88-78. The Bison beat Grove City in overtime last Saturday in Bethany, 96-91, to sweep the regular-season series. Saturday's tip-off is set for 6:00 p.m. at Bethany's Hummel Field House.
Grove City (17-9) never trailed against Thiel (11-15), opening up a 6-0 lead on three layups in the first three minutes. The Tomcats didn't dent the scoreboard until nearly four minutes in and was held to single digits through the first 7:30 as the Wolverines built a 17-8 lead at the 12:44 mark. Grove City led by as many as 17 points in the first half (34-17) before taking a 40-24 lead into intermission.
Thiel opened the second half with a 17-6 run to cut the margin to five points (46-41) with 12:10 remaining, but Grove City answered with its own 17-6 run to jump ahead 63-47 with 5:07 left. The Wolverines led by at least 11 points the rest of the way, cruising to their first win of the season against their Mercer County rival.
Prosser's game-high 29 points came on 8-for-12 shooting from the floor and a 12-for-14 effort from the free-throw line. The 6-4 forward also grabbed 11 rebounds.
The Wolverines connected on 26 of 31 free throws in the game, while Thiel made just eight of 15 attempts.
Fourteen of Roberts' game-high 17 rebounds were on the defensive boards. Grove City, ranked second in the nation in team rebounding margin, posted a decisive 48-28 edge on the glass. Roberts added 12 points, marking his seventh double-double of the season.
Sophomore Ian Dean (Damascus, MD/Damascus) chipped in 10 points. Junior Andy Vlajkovich (Canfield, OH/Canfield) contributed six assists.
Thiel's Durell Hackett tossed in a team-high 17 points.
Grove City last won a PAC title in 1998-99.
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