January 20, 2007

Smith jumper lifts Grove City to 49-48 victory

CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. -- Senior forward Mark Smith (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) drained a 14-foot fadeaway jumper off an inbounds play as time expired, lifting the Grove City College men's basketball team to a 49-48 win over host Thomas More Saturday afternoon in Presidents' Athletic Conference action at the Connor Convocation Center.

With three seconds left in the game, junior Shawn Carr (New Castle, Pa./Mohawk) lobbed the ball to Smith in the paint. Smith caught the ball, turned and shot. The ball bounced on the rim and fell through as time expired. Smith had not scored prior to his game-winner.

Grove City trailed 41-34 with 10 minutes left but surged ahead with a 12-1 run. A layup from junior guard Ryan Gerber (Baltic, Ohio/Garaway) gave Grove City a 43-42 lead with five minutes left. Gerber then drained a three with 3:43 left that extended the lead to 46-42. The Wolverines held Thomas More without a field goal for over nine minutes during the run.

Grove City (9-8, 2-3 PAC) led 47-44 in the closing moments but Thomas More's Jeremy Abell tied the game with a three-pointer from the left wing. Following a Grove City miss and subsequent foul on the rebound, Thomas More's Matt Tierney hit one of two free throws with nine seconds left, putting Thomas More ahead 48-47.

Junior guard Ryan Gibson (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) led Grove City with 12 points while Gerber added 11. The Wolverines committed just three turnovers in the second half.

Aaron Miller led Thomas More (1-16, 1-4 PAC) with 14 points. The Saints out-rebounded Grove City, 35-27, including 16 offensive boards. Senior center Craig Hallman (Ellwood City, Pa./Riverside) led Grove City with seven rebounds.

Grove City's last victory while scoring less than 50 points came in a 48-47 win over Washington & Jefferson Feb. 3, 1998. It is also the first time Grove City held an opponent under 50 since a 72-47 win over Westminster Jan. 22, 2003.

The Wolverines will host Washington & Jefferson Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in PAC action.

Box Score

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