December 29, 2006
Grove City falls at Bluffton Tournament
BLUFFTON, Ohio – Grove City shot 59 percent (30 of 51) from the floor Friday night but the Wolverines fell to 3-6 overall with an 87-82 loss to University of Cincinnati-Claremont in the semifinals of the McDonald's of Bluffton Tournament, hosted by Bluffton University.
Grove City also drained 11 of 18 (61 percent) three-point attempts. However, the Wolverines made just 11 of 24 foul shots, including a 6-for-14 effort in the second half. UC-Claremont (10-8) went 18 of 22 at the foul line.
Sophomore guard Ryan Gibson (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) fired in a team-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting for Grove City. Gibson also distributed eight assists and added three steals. Senior forward Mark Smith (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) made his second start of the season and recorded 13 points while junior guard Ryan Gerber (Baltic, Ohio/Garaway) added 10 points.
Grove City used a 16-4 run to grab a 25-18 lead midway through the first half. The Wolverines led 42-37 at the half and extended the lead 51-41 four minutes into the second half. However, Claremont rallied and took the lead for good on back-to-back three-point goals by John Stone. Claremont drilled eight of its 13 three-point attempts in the second half.
Jeff Kinney led UC-Claremont with 22 points while Stone added 20. The Cougars owned a 32-27 edge on the boards. Senior center Craig Hallman (Ellwood City, Pa./Riverside) grabbed six rebounds for Grove City.
Grove City will face Wright State-Lake in Saturday's consolation game at 1 p.m. Host Bluffton (10-1) handed Wright State-Lake a 94-59 setback in Friday night's second semifinal.
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