January 4, 2014

Wolverines' rally falls short at Saint Vincent

LATROBE, Pa. -- The Grove City College men's basketball team battled with Saint Vincent from start to finish but the Bearcats converted at the foul line down the stretch to hand the Wolverines a 73-62 loss in Presidents' Athletic Conference action at the Carey Center on Saturday afternoon.

Junior Mitch Marmelstein (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./St. Margaret's) led the Wolverines (5-6, 2-2 PAC) with 18 points and a season-high 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season while juniors J.T. Schwartz (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) and Josh Patterson (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette) each added eight points.

Grove City, playing its second game in as many days, showed some early signs of fatigue as Saint Vincent (10-2, 3-0) jumped out to an early 12-0 lead five minutes into the game. However, the Wolverines responded with an 14-4 run of their own, closing it within 16-14 on a banked three-pointer by sophomore Joe Vermilya (Toledo, Ohio/Sylvania Southview) with 9:35 remaining.

The Bearcats would use another 9-2 run to extend their lead back to 25-16 at the 4:07 mark before a Marmelstein three-point play closed the gap to six.

Sophomore Stephen Tam (Hamilton, Mass./Hamilton-Wenham) answered a Dillon Stith tip-in with a three to cut the lead to five, but Saint Vincent would make a late run, highlighted by a Stith alley-oop dunk from JC Howard, to make it a 10-point game with under a minute to play. Tam found sophomore Isaiah Reeves (Pittsburgh, Pa./Perry) for a layup to make it a 33-25 halftime score.

Marmelstein led the Wolverines with nine first-half points while Stith had 11 for Saint Vincent.

The Bearcats would extend their lead to 12 in the opening minutes of the second half before the Wolverines began to claw back. Patterson and Schwartz connected on back-to-back threes, and Schwartz was fouled on his attempt, completing the four-point play to bring Grove City within 40-35 with 16:20 remaining.

After a pair of Marmelstein free throws made it a three-point game, Saint Vincent scored five straight points to push their lead back to eight, but a Tam jumper and five points from Patterson brought the Wolverines within a single point at 45-44 with 11:40 left.

Back-to-back threes by Isaac Turner and Howard grew the Bearcats' advantage back to seven points, but freshman D.J. Martin ( Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty), Marmelstein, and sophomore Tyler Patterson (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette) each made layups to cut the lead back to one and a Schwartz steal and layup gave the Wolverines their first lead of the game at 52-51 with 8:11 remaining.

 Marmelstein would answer a Ben Klimchock three with a pair of free throws to tie the score at 54-54, but Saint Vincent used a 7-1 run to extend their lead back to six. After Marmelstein and Turner traded layups, junior Brian Giesler (Harrisville, Pa./Slippery Rock) nailed a three to make the score 63-60 with 2:43 remaining.

Martin would answer another Turner layup with one of his own to keep the Wolverines within three, but Howard would hit a three with 1:18 remaining to give Saint Vincent a six-point advantage and the Bearcats would hit five free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Turner scored a game-high 20 points for Saint Vincent while Stith posted 17 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. JC Howard and Sean Kett added 14 and 11, respectively.

The Bearcats held a 37-23 rebounding edge and outscored the Wolverines 16-8 at the foul line.

Grove City will look to rebound from the loss when it travels to Penn State Beaver on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. non-conference game.

Box Score

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