Bullets shoot down Blue Jays in first CC win
Courtesy of GCC&M
Senior forward Connor Poston registered 16 points and 17 rebounds while first-year forward Cody Kiefer scored a game-high 22 points, leading the Gettysburg College men’s basketball team to its first Centennial Conference (CC) victory of the season, a 70-65 win at Johns Hopkins University Tuesday evening.
The Bullets (2-4, 1-2 CC) held off a late rally that saw the Blue Jays pull to within two in the final minute after trailing by as much as 14 in the second half. But Gettysburg made its final three foul shots to clinch the victory.
It was the second career double-double for Poston, whose 17 rebounds were a career-high and the most by a Bullet since Julius Redd ‘07 grabbed 19 boards in a 58-42 loss versus York (Pa.) College on Nov. 21, 2006. Poston, who shot 8-for-11 from the field, came up big in the second half, when he recorded 12 points and 12 rebounds.
First-year forward Tanner Kirkpatrick contributed 15 points and eight points for the Bullets, who shot a season-high 45.8 percent from the field.
Kiefer enjoyed a strong shooting night, going 6-for-10 from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, and 6-for-6 at the foul line.
George Bugarinovic led Hopkins with 16 points and nine rebounds.
A lay-up by Kiefer handed Gettysburg a 58-44 lead with 12:10 left, but that’s when the Blue Jays began to chip away. An 11-2 run, capped by a Bugarinovic fast-break lay-up, made it 60-55 with 6:56 to go.
Bugarinovic made it a one possession game (62-59) with his lay-in at the 4:58 mark, and Austin Vasiliadis pulled the hosts to within two (67-65) when he canned a jumper with 1:00 on the clock. But after the Bullets turned it over, sophomore guard Sango Amolo came up with a steal, only to miss the front end of a one and one with 33 seconds left.
At the other end of the floor, Jimmy Hammer was unable to finish off a driving lay-up, and Poston grabbed the rebound. Junior guard Sean Gordon, making his first start and appearance of the season, made 1-of-2 free throws before Vasiliadis missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 11 ticks showing. Poston corralled yet another big rebound before Kiefer iced it by going 2-for-2 at the line with five seconds remaining.
It was a back-and-forth first half in the early going, when there were two ties and six lead changes.
But Gettysburg opened up some breathing room with an 11-2 run that gave the team its first double-digit lead (25-15) of the night after a 3-pointer from junior guard Joe Emerusabe with 7:29 on the clock. Hopkins would pull to within four on three occasions, but Gettysburg scored the last four points of the half, and a fast-break dunk from Kiefer five seconds before the horn made it a 42-34 game at the break.
The Blue Jays still trailed by only eight with 16:00 left before a six to nothing Bullet spurt gave the Orange and Blue its first 14-point lead, setting up Hopkins’ rally. Poston came up big for the Bullets down the stretch, scoring six straight points over a 2:35 minute stretch to help Gettysburg withstand the late charge.
Gettysburg returns to Centennial Conference action on Saturday, when it hosts Washington College at 1 p.m.