February 20, 2010

Wolverines clinch top seed

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- The Grove City College men's basketball team wrapped up the top seed in next week's Presidents' Athletic Conference Championship Tournament Saturday afternoon by rolling to a 69-47 victory over host Westminster (7-18, 3-9 PAC) in conference action at Memorial Field House. Grove City is now 17-8 overall and finishes the regular season with a 9-3 league mark.

Grove City led 33-24 at halftime and extended the lead to 45-29 in the second half. Westminster closed to within 49-46 with nine minutes left. That's when Grove City embarked on a game-ending 20-1 run in which the Wolverines held Westminster scoreless for the final six minutes of the game.

Sophomore guard Brett Matson (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland) ignited the run with a three-pointer while senior center Andy O'Keefe (Perry, Ohio/Perry) followed with a three-point play. Matson then added consecutive layups and a three-point goal that pushed the lead to 63-47.

Matson and sophomore forward Drew Vandermeer (Clarion, Pa./Clarion) both fired in a game-high 18 points for the Wolverines. Vandermeer scored 12 first-half points to help the Wolverines jump out to a 23-10 lead.

Grove City shot 54 percent (27 of 50) from the floor in the win. Defensively, the Wolverines limited Westminster to an 18-for-49 (37 percent) shooting effort, including an 8-for-32 outing in the second half. Grove City also forced 25 Westminster turnovers.

Freshman center Jeff Newell (Boone, N.C./Watauga) added 10 points for the Wolverines. Vandermeer and O'Keefe both pulled in five rebounds while junior forward Luke Tomaselli (Cresson, Pa./Penn Cambria) handed out four assists.

Rob Briggs led Westminster with 13 points and nine rebounds. Ryne Murray added 12 points. Murray entered the game averaging a team-high 22 points per game.

Grove City has now held nine of its last 15 opponents to 54 points or fewer. Grove City's 17 regular-season wins are the most for the Wolverines since the 1988-89 team went 20-6. O'Keefe's 449 points this year is the 11th-highest single-season total in program history. He moved into 15th place on Grove City's all-time scoring list with 1,123 career points.

It is Grove City's first sweep of Westminster since the 2002-03 season. The Wolverines earned a 64-53 home win over Westminster January 20.

The Wolverines will host a PAC Championship Tournament semifinal Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Grove City College Arena. Grove City is in pursuit of its first conference title since 2007.

Box Score


1-Jeff Claypool (1965-69)    2,234
2-Bob Crow (1979-83)         1,450
3-Joe Buckley (1985-89)      1,413
4-John Cochran (1966-70)     1,352
5-Tanner Prosser (1999-2003) 1,263
6-Mark Timko (1991-94)       1,255
7-Fred Schwab (1970-74)      1,215
8-Deron Ryan (1984-88)       1,205
9-Tim Mokma (1987-91)        1,197
10-Bill Fox (1975-79)        1,192
11-Tom Robinson (1957-62)    1,181
12-Mark Smith (1979-83)      1,171
13-Jim Wherley (1993-97)     1,162
14-Bart Niemeyer (1958-62)   1,145
15-ANDY O'KEEFE (2006-)      1,123
16-Shawn Carr (2004-08)      1,121
17-Benjamin Davis (1990-94)  1,094
18-Ryan Gibson (2005-09)     1,079
19-Dave Marovich (1962-65)   1,072
20-Ron Arrington (1962-66)   1,069
21-Ryan Eller (2001-05)      1,068
22-Mike Donahoe (1975-79)    1,051
23-Dan Von Handorf (1992-96) 1,029
24-Dutch Leonard (1955-59)   1,013

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