December 3, 2014

Grove City battles past W&J in PAC opener

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College men's basketball team used a balanced scoring attack to rally from a first-half deficit and earn a hard-fought 66-61 victory over the visiting Washington and Jefferson Presidents in the Presidents' Athletic Conference opener for both teams on Wednesday night in the Grove City College Arena.

Senior guard Mitch Marmelstein (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./St. Margaret's) led four Wolverines (4-2, 1-0 PAC) in double figures with 14 points while senior Brian Giesler (Harrisville, Pa./Slippery Rock) scored 12 and junior Caleb Knudsen (Saylorsville, Pa./Pius X) and freshman Cory Huff (Kersey, Pa./Elk County Catholic) added 11 and 10, respectively. Knudsen also grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds and dished out five assists.

The Presidents' Doug Johnson scored the first six points of the game on a pair of threes as W&J (0-7, 0-1) jumped out to an early 11-2 lead. Senior J.T. Schwartz (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) cut the lead to six with a three and Giesler would follow with back-to-back threes to close the gap to two points at 13-11 with 13:34 left in the half.

Johnson would add five more points as the Presidents pushed their lead back to nine, but Grove City would answer with eight straight, closing the gap to 20-19 on a Giesler three at the 8:27 mark. The Wolverines would cut the lead to one on three more occasions before halftime, but W&J continued to have an answer, stretching their lead back to five with 11 seconds remaining before Giesler nailed his fourth three of the half with five seconds left to make it a 34-32 halftime advantage for the Presidents.

Giesler led the Wolverines in the first half with 12 points on those four threes while Johnson led all scorers with 13 points on three triples.

A Marmelstein layup just 20 seconds into the second half would bring the Wolverines even with W&J for the first time in the game and Huff would answer a Tyler Haas layup with one of his own to tie the score again at 36-36. Knudsen would give Grove City its first lead at on a pair of free throws before Marmelstein drained a three to give the Wolverines a 41-36 advantage and force W&J coach Glenn Gutierrez to call a timeout.

Following a Mike Resnik free throw, Huff would make another layup to give Grove City its largest lead at 43-37, but the Presidents' would respond with consecutive layups from Adam Robison and Mitch Locher to close the gap back to two points. The Wolverines would continue to produce on the offensive end, but Haas would score eight-straight W&J points to answer each Grove City attempt and bring the Presidents within a single point at 52-51 with 7:57 to play.

Consecutive layups by junior Isaiah Reeves (Pittsburgh, Pa./Perry) and Marmelstein would extend Grove City's lead back to five, but Haas would counter with another three and a pair of Resnik free throws tied the score at 56 with 5:02 remaining.

Knudsen would put the Wolverines back on top on a difficult driving layup as part of seven unanswered on his own to give Grove City a 63-56 advantage with just 28 seconds left. Johnson would hit a difficult floater for the Presidents, but junior Joe Vermilya (Sylvania, Ohio/Southview), who had just come off the bench, calmly stepped to the line and hit a pair of free throws to push the lead back to seven and seal the win.

Grove City outrebounded W&J 43-33 and used a commanding 20-6 second-half advantage in points in the paint in the win.

Haas led the Presidents with a game-high 20 points while Johnson and Resnik added 15 and 12, respectively.

The Wolverines will look to move to 2-0 in conference play on Saturday when they visit PAC-foe Waynesburg for a 3 p.m. tipoff.

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-Andy O'Keefe (2006-10             1,164
14-Jim Wherley (1993-97)             1,162
15-Bart Niemeyer (1958-62)           1,145
16-Shawn Carr (2004-08)              1,121
17-Brett Matson (2008-12)            1,108
18-Benjamin Davis (1990-94)          1,094
19-Ryan Gibson (2005-09)             1,079
20-MITCH MARMELSTEIN (2011-Pres.)    1,074
21-Dave Marovich (1962-65)           1,072
22-Ron Arrington (1962-66)           1,069
23-Ryan Eller (2001-05)              1,068
24-Mike Donahoe (1975-79)            1,051
25-Dan Von Handorf (1992-96)         1,029
26-Dutch Leonard (1955-59)           1,013

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