December 29, 2011
Wolverines storm past Muskingum
BLUFFTON, Ohio -- The Grove City College men's basketball team advanced to the finals of the 2011 McDonald's of Bluffton Tournament by earning a 75-59 victory over Muskingum in the semifinals Thursday at Founders Hall. The Wolverines (5-5) will now meet host Bluffton in Friday's championship game at 3 p.m.
Grove City trailed 30-29 at halftime but surged ahead in the second half. The Wolverines took command of the game with a 22-8 run over the final seven minutes of the game. Grove City hit five consecutive three-point goals to start the run.
Freshmen Brian Giesler (Harrisville, Pa./Slippery Rock) and Mitch Marmelstein (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./St. Margaret's) drained consecutive threes to give Grove City a 59-49 lead. Senior guard Brett Matson (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland) buried a pair of three-pointers and freshman J.T. Schwartz (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) also added a three-pointer as the Wolverine lead swelled to 68-55.
Grove City shot 8 of 15 (53 percent) from behind the three-point line in the second half. For the game, the Wolverines shot 51 percent (27 of 53) from the floor.
Matson led the Wolverines with 22 points and senior center Kris Verderber (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) poured in 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Giesler and Marmelstein both added nine points. Matson also recorded six assists and five steals. Schwartz and freshman guard Christian Durbin (Harmony, Pa./Seneca Valley) both tallied four assists. Grove City had 23 assists on 27 field goals.
Marmelstein pulled in a team-high six rebounds and senior Cody Fleeger (Butler, Pa./Butler) added five rebounds. Each team had 31 rebounds.
Kyle Clinedinst led Muskingum (3-8) with 16 points. The Muskies shot 40 percent (22 of 55) from the field. Muskingum had 17 turnovers and Grove City turned over the ball just 14 times.
Bluffton defeated Ohio State-Lima 94-54 in Thursday's other semifinal. The consolation game will be played at 1 p.m.
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