February 25, 2010

Grove City rallies past W&J

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College men's basketball team rallied for a 63-59 victory over No. 5 seed Washington & Jefferson Thursday night in the semifinals of the Presidents' Athletic Conference Championship Tournament in the Grove City College Arena. The top-seeded Wolverines (18-8) will now host No. 2 seed Thomas More in the championship game Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

Grove City trailed 30-25 at halftime and trailed by eight points on two occasions in the second half. However, the Wolverines used a 14-4 run late in the second half to surge ahead. Senior guard Joe McCoy (Newark, Ohio/Newark) drained a three-pointer during the run to cut the W&J lead to 49-47.

Moments later, sophomore guard Brett Matson (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland) bucketed consecutive layups to tie the game at 51. The Wolverines then took a 54-53 lead -- their first lead of the half -- at the 4:23 mark on a McCoy three-pointer.

Senior center Andy O'Keefe (Perry, Ohio/Perry) added a pair of layups to give the Wolverines a 58-55 lead. W&J cut the lead to one with 54 seconds left on two free throws from Akram Hidmi. After W&J's Brian Felker missed a potential game-tying free throw with eight seconds left, O'Keefe hit two foul shots to push the Grove City lead to 61-58.

On the ensuing play, the Wolverines fouled Matt Drakeley, who made one of two free throws with four seconds left. McCoy then sewed up the win with two free throws with 0.7 seconds left.

O'Keefe paced Grove City with 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting while Matson fired in 16 points. McCoy added 14 points, all coming in the second half. Grove City shot 54 percent (13 of 24) from the field in the second half while the Presidents converted just 9 of 22 (41 percent) attempts in the second half.

For the game, Grove City converted 23 of 51 (45 percent) attempts from the field while W&J shot 41 percent (19 of 46).

The Wolverines took their final lead of the first half, 19-17, on a three-point goal from senior guard Andrew DiDonato (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) at the 7:55 mark. W&J countered with a 7-2 run, sparked by five straight Felker points. Felker and Paul Matthews led W&J (12-15) with 15 points each.

O'Keefe grabbed a game-high seven rebounds but W&J owned a 32-29 edge on the glass. The Presidents had 15 turnovers while Grove City turned the ball over 16 times. Matson added four steals for the Wolverines.

W&J and Grove City have now met four consecutive seasons in the PAC Tournament. The teams have split those four meetings.

Grove City will host Thomas More Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. in the conference title game. The Saints defeated No. 3 Bethany Thursday night 88-73. Thomas More is the defending conference champion. Grove City is going for its fourth conference title under head coach Steve Lamie (1999, 2003, 2007). This is the first time that the conference title game will be played in the Grove City College Arena.

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-)      1,142
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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