January 6, 2016
Grove City downs Westminster for best start in 33 years
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- Senior guard Joe Vermilya (Sylvania, Ohio/Southview) poured in a game-high 20 points on 7-10 shooting as the Grove City College men's basketball defeated nearby rival Westminster 77-67 in Presidents' Athletic Conference action on Wednesday night for the program's best start in 33 years.
Grove City's 9-3 start is the best since the 1982-83 season, when those Wolverines began the year 11-1 on their way to a 21-4 overall record. The Wolverines' conference record of 4-1 also marks the team's best start in league play since 2007-08.
Sophomore forward Andrew Beckman (Shelby, Mich./Shelby) filled the stat sheet with 15 points and game-highs of nine rebounds, seven assists and three blocked shots -- all career-highs -- while sophomore center Cory Huff (Kersey, Pa./Elk County Catholic) added 11.
Vermilya drilled a three on Grove City's first possession as the Wolverines jumped out to a 13-0 lead and maintained a double-digit lead throughout, taking their largest lead of the first half on a Beckman three-point play with 31 seconds left to go into halftime with a 43-26 lead.
Vermilya led the Wolverines with 12 first-half points while Beckman added seven points, four rebounds and four assists.
Grove City would take its largest lead of the night at 52-28 on another Vermilya three early in the second half and would lead by at least 16 for most of the half. Westminster made a late surge in the final four minutes, closing within eight on an A.J. Grant three-point play with 1:43 remaining, but Grove City made enough free throws down the stretch to preserve the win.
Senior Caleb Knudsen (Saylorsburg, Pa./Pius X) scored seven points to go with eight rebounds and four assists while sophomore guard Seth Muck (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake) recorded a game-high four steals. Grove City shot 51 percent (26 of 51) from the field and assisted on 21 of their 26 field goals while holding Westminster to just 37 percent shooting (24 of 65).
Grant led the Titans with 17 points.
Grove City returns home for the first time in a month Saturday, hosting Saint Vincent at 3 p.m. in PAC action.
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