January 13, 2005

Collar's career night sparks Wolverine comeback win

HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Senior guard J.D. Collar (Cincinnati, Ohio/Anderson) fired in a career-high 31 points Thursday night to help the Grove City College men’s basketball team rally past host Juniata in non-conference action at Memorial Gymnasium.

Collar scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half. The 31 points is Grove City’s highest individual scoring effort this season.

The Wolverines (7-7) trailed by as many as 13, 25-12, in the first half before beginning their comeback. A jumper by sophomore forward Craig Hallman (Ellwood City, Pa./Riverside) sparked an 8-1 run in the latter portion of the first half. A three-pointer from freshman guard Ryan Gerber (Baltic, Ohio/Garaway) with one second left in the half cut Juniata’s lead to 35-31.

Grove City surged ahead in the second half as sophomore forward Mark Smith (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) drained back-to-back threes that turned a 47-45 deficit into a 51-47 Grove City lead. Juniata forged a 54-all tie with nine minutes left but senior point guard Mike Lukcic (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) produced a three-point play that put Grove City up for good.

Collar sealed the win in the final minute by sinking four straight free throws and adding a three-point play.

The Wolverines out-rebounded Juniata (5-9) 38-21 and converted the Eagles’ 14 turnovers into 17 points.

Sophomore guard Nick Mihalic (Lorain, Ohio/Amherst Steele) distributed five assists for Grove City while Collar had a team-high six rebounds. Senior forward Ryan Eller (Erie, Pa./Iroquois) tossed in 12 points despite playing just 19 minutes due to foul trouble. Eller now has 888 career points.

Chris Jasiota led Juniata with 14 points. Grove City opens Presidents’ Athletic Conference play at home Saturday at 3 p.m. against defending PAC champion Westminster. Grove City was the only PAC team to beat Westminster last season.

Box Score

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