February 27, 2010
WOLVERINES WIN CONFERENCE TITLE, CLINCH NCAA BERTH!
GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Four Grove City players scored in double figures Saturday night to lift the Wolverines to a 78-61 victory over visiting Thomas More in the championship game of the 2010 Presidents' Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship Tournament at the Grove City College Arena. It is Grove City's seventh PAC title.
The win also clinches an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. The Wolverines will be making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1989.
Junior forward Luke Tomaselli (Cresson, Pa./Penn Cambria) poured in 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting while sophomore guard Brett Matson (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland) fired in 16 points. Senior guard Joe McCoy (Newark, Ohio/Newark) rifled in 13 points and senior center Andy O'Keefe (Perry, Ohio/Perry) added 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting.
Top-seeded Grove City (19-8) jumped out to a 13-0 lead and led 31-20 at halftime. Thomas More (21-7) stormed back to cut the lead to 44-39 with 12:44 left in the second half.
However, Matson answered with a three-point play and then followed with a layup, doubling the lead to 10. Matson's baskets sparked a 17-4 run that broke the game open. Sophomore guard Cody Fleeger (Butler, Pa./Butler) drilled a jumper during the run while a Tomaselli layup extended the lead to 61-43 with 6:46 left.
Grove City shot 81 percent (17 of 21) from the field in the second half. For the game, the Wolverines converted 29 of 42 (69 percent) shots from the floor.
Defensively, Grove City held the Saints to their lowest point total of the season. Thomas More shot 39 percent (21 of 54) from the field for the game. The Wolverines also forced 18 turnovers and limited Thomas More to a 6-for-28 (21 percent) effort on three-point attempts.
Sophomore forward Drew Vandermeer (Clarion, Pa./Clarion) pulled in a game-high eight rebounds to help Grove City own a 35-23 edge on the glass. Matson recorded six assists and four steals while Tomaselli and Fleeger each had three assists.
Daniel McKeehan led Thomas More with a game-high 22 points on 9-for-10 shooting. McKeehan also pulled in seven rebounds and had six steals before being disqualified in the closing moments.
Grove City completed a season sweep of Thomas More with the win. It is Grove City's fourth conference title under head coach Steve Lamie. The Wolverines also won league crowns in 1999, 2003 and 2007 under Lamie. The Wolverines' first three PAC titles came in 1989, 1990 and 1991.
O'Keefe's 480 points this year is the eighth-highest single-season total in program history. He, McCoy and Tomaselli all played on the 2007 conference title squad.
Overall, the Wolverines have won 11 of their last 12 games.
The pairings for the NCAA Championship Tournament will be announced Monday morning. It is Grove City's fifth all-time NCAA appearance. Grove City also qualified in 1976, 1979, 1983 and 1989.
GROVE CITY'S 1,000-POINT CLUB
1-Jeff Claypool (1965-69)
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-ANDY O'KEEFE (2006-) 1,154
15-Bart Niemeyer (1958-62) 1,145
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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