February 24, 2007
WOLVERINES WIN PAC TITLE!
WASHINGTON, Pa. -- The Grove City College men's basketball team captured the program's sixth all-time Presidents' Athletic Conference championship Saturday night, pulling out a come-from-behind 60-58 win at third-seeded Washington & Jefferson in the PAC Championship Tournament finals in the Henry Memorial Center. Grove City, the No. 4 team in the PAC Tournament, improved to 16-12. W&J finishes 14-14.
It is the Wolverines' first conference title since 2003. The Wolverines also won the 1999 PAC title. Each of Grove City's three title-clinching wins under head coach Steve Lamie have come on the road.
W&J's Jon Koch had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer but his 15-foot pull-up jumper missed the mark. Koch's jumper came after Grove City center Craig Hallman (Ellwood City, Pa./Riverside) missed the front end of a one-and-one with 8.1 seconds left.
Grove City limited W&J to just one field goal over the final 5:46 of the game. W&J had just eight second-half field goals.
Junior guard Shawn Carr (New Castle, Pa./Mohawk) posted a 19-point, 12-rebound double-double to help lead Grove City Saturday night. Sophomore guard Ryan Gibson (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover) fired in 16 points while senior forward Mark Smith (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) and junior guard Ryan Gerber (Baltic, Ohio/Garaway) each added eight points.
W&J led by as many as seven, 30-23, in the first half. However, Gibson drilled consecutive jumpers from the left elbow to cut the lead to 30-27 by halftime. Grove City forged seven different ties in the second half before finally taking the lead for good, 54-53, on a Gerber three with 5:21 left. Carr buried a pair of three-pointers that stretched the Wolverine lead to 60-53 with 1:56 left.
The Presidents closed the gap to 60-56 on Brandon Studer's three-pointer. W&J then closed to within two as Studer went 1-for-2 twice at the foul line. Studer led W&J with 18 points while Josip Lucic-Jozak posted 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Presidents.
Grove City shot 22 of 57 (39 percent) from the field while W&J made 20 of 51 (39 percent) field goals. The Wolverines out-rebounded W&J, 36-32. Grove City committed just two second-half turnovers. For the game, the Wolverines had nine turnovers while W&J had a dozen turnovers. The game featured 12 total ties and a dozen lead changes.
Grove City also won PAC titles in 1988-89, 1989-90 and 1990-91. Grove City's 28 games played this year are the most in program history. Grove City is 2-1 in PAC title games since the conference instituted a season-ending tournament in 2002.
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