January 17, 2015

Grove City drops heartbreaker to Thiel

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Berto Dryden converted a three-point play with just 0.1 seconds remaining to negate a hard-fought Wolverine comeback as the Grove City College men's basketball team dropped a heartbreaking 56-55 decision to Presidents' Athletic Conference rival Thiel on Saturday afternoon in the Grove City College Arena.

Senior guard Mitch Marmelstein (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./St. Margaret's) led the Wolverines (7-8, 2-4 PAC) with a game-high 17 points while junior forward Caleb Knudsen (Saylorsville, Pa./Pius X) added 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

After trailing for the first 34 minutes, including by as much as 11 early in the second half, Marmelstein hit a three with 6:06 remaining to give Grove City its first lead of the day at 45-44. Marmelstein would answer a Josh Johnson jumper with a pair of free throws to put the Wolverines back on top and then split a pair of foul shots to give the Wolverines a 48-46 advantage.

Khari Bess would put Thiel (8-7, 5-2) back on top with a big three and Dryden followed with a layup to give the Tomcats a 51-48 lead with 3:25 to play. Thiel forced another Grove City miss, but Knudsen came up with a big steal and took it the other way for a layup to close the gap back to a single point. After Thiel turnovers on consecutive possessions, Knudsen found senior guard J.T. Schwartz (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) cutting to the hoop for a layup that gave the Wolverines a 52-51 lead with just over a minute left.

Johnson would earn a trip to the line and hit both attempts to regain the lead for his team and the Tomcats got the defensive stop they were seeking, but Marmelstein would steal a poor Thiel pass and draw the foul in the process. The senior made both free throws to give Grove City the advantage once again at 54-53 with 14.4 seconds to play.

The Wolverines got another break when the Thiel inbounder stepped over the endline to turn the ball over to the Wolverines. Forced to foul, the Tomcats sent junior guard Stephen Tam (Hamilton, Mass./Hamilton-Wenham) to the line, where he hit one of two to give Grove City a 55-53 lead with 12.5 seconds left.

The Tomcats would bring the ball across half court and call timeout with 10.5 seconds remaining, setting up the game's final play.

Grove City shot just 37 percent for the game, including 27 percent from three, but stayed close by holding a 21-11 advantage in points off turnovers.

The Wolverines will look to bounce back on Tuesday when they host conference foe Thomas More at 6 p.m.

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-MITCH MARMELSTEIN (2011-Pres.)     1,222

8-Fred Schwab (1970-74)              1,215
9-Deron Ryan (1984-88)               1,205
10-Tim Mokma (1987-91)               1,197
11-Bill Fox (1975-79)                1,192
12-Tom Robinson (1957-62)            1,181
13-Mark Smith (1979-83)              1,171
14-Andy O'Keefe (2006-10)            1,164
16-Jim Wherley (1993-97)             1,162
16-Bart Niemeyer (1958-62)           1,145
17-Shawn Carr (2004-08)              1,121
18-Brett Matson (2008-12)            1,108
19-Benjamin Davis (1990-94)          1,094
20-Ryan Gibson (2005-09)             1,079
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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