Grove City 71, Waynesburg 65


January 23, 1999--
The old American Basketball Association called it the "home run" shot. Saturday, the Grove City Wolverines called it the key to victory.

The Wolverines riddled visiting Waynesburg’s various zone defenses with nine three-pointers, including five from Dave Pifer (Sarver, PA/Freeport) as Grove City improved to 2-0 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference.

Pifer led Grove City with 19 points, while Michael Cratsley (Temecula, CA/Temecula Valley) rifled in 18.

The nine three-pointers represented a season-high for the Wolverines. Grove City also shot 54% (15-for-28) from the field in the second half. The Wolverines saw a 14-point second-half lead trimmed to 67-65, but Brent Steineman’s (Pickerington, OH/Wadsworth) steal and subsequent free throws inside the one minute mark sealed the Wolverines’ first win over Waynesburg in the last four meetings.

"We learned our lesson from the Pitt-Bradford game," first-year Wolverine coach Steve Lamie said. In that game, Grove City saw a 52-45 lead evaporate into a 65-62 defeat. "I’m really happy with the win, and especially happy with how we played down the stretch."

Eighty percent free-throw accuracy also benefited Grove City. The hosts made 12 of 15 freebies, while Waynesburg made 13 of 21 (62%).

"You can look at that as being the ballgame," Lamie said. "We’ve been a very consistent foul-shooting team. We work on it like crazy. Brent Steineman hit two big free throws for us that put us up by five."

With Waynesburg chipping away at the Wolverine lead, Grove City turned to reserve point guard Bob Ayton (Warminster, PA/William Tennent) to provide a spark. The senior responded with three straight assists and a critical three-pointer which bolstered Grove City’s lead to 64-54.

"He was really a spark for us," Lamie said. "I gotta really single Bob out. He’s a senior. He’s coming off the bench. Sometimes he plays two minutes, sometimes he plays none, sometimes he plays ten, and that’s not easy to do. He has not complained at all. He’s ready ‘on-call’. He came up big tonight. I’m really happy for him."

Guard Ray Robinson returned from a brief absence to lead Waynesburg with 16 points. The Yellow Jackets outrebounded Grove City, 43-32.

The victory improved Grove City’s record to 4-1 at the College Arena and 8-7 overall. The Wolverines travel to Buffalo to battle D’Youville College Wednesday night. Tip-off is set for 8:00 pm.

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