December 30, 2009

Grove City charges past OWU

MARIETTA, Ohio -- The Grove City College men's basketball team rallied for a 61-53 victory over Ohio Wesleyan Wednesday night in the consolation game of Marietta College's 39th Annual Shrine Classic at Ban Johnson Field House.

Grove City (6-5) trailed 41-29 with less than 13 minutes remaining before countering with a 22-5 run. Sophomore guard Cody Fleeger (Butler, Pa./Butler) ignited the run with a layup, then added a three-point goal that slashed the Bishops' lead to 44-39. The Wolverines then forged a 46-46 tie with six minutes remaining as senior guard Andrew DiDonato (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) drilled a three-pointer.

Grove City took its first lead of the night at the 5:34 mark on a three-point play by sophomore guard Brett Matson (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland). Senior center Andy O'Keefe (Perry, Ohio/Perry) hit a jumper to close the run and give Grove City a 51-46 lead.

O'Keefe and senior guard Joe McCoy (Newark, Ohio/Newark) both hit two free throws in the closing moments to sew up the victory.

O'Keefe finished with 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting. He also pulled in eight rebounds, blocked four shots and recorded five steals. He earned All-Tournament Team honors. Junior forward Luke Tomaselli (Cresson, Pa./Penn Cambria) tossed in a dozen points.

Grove City shot 12 of 24 (50 percent) from the field in the second half while holding Ohio Wesleyan (2-7) to just 37 percent (11 of 30) shooting over the final 20 minutes. For the game, Grove City shot 48 percent (22 of 46) from the floor.

Ohio Wesleyan led 26-15 late in the first half but O'Keefe scored the final eight points of the half to cut the lead to 26-23 at intermission.

Andy Winters led OWU with 14 points. The Bishops shot 42 percent (22 of 53) from the field in the game. Ohio Wesleyan out-rebounded Grove City 33-26. The Bishops committed 17 turnovers while Grove City had just 11.

The teams had not played in 19 seasons. Grove City now leads the all-time series 6-5. Sixth-ranked Guilford defeated Marietta in the championship game 82-60.

Grove City will open the new calendar year Monday night against visiting Juniata at 7 p.m.

Box Score

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