March 14, 2009

Courtesy of Pitt-Johnstown Athletics

Top-seeded Gannon University outscored the #8-seeded Mountain Cat basketball team 10-0 spanning the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half and ended Pitt-Johnstown's season with a 76-53 loss Saturday evening in the first Round of the 2009 NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Tournament at Gannon's Hammermill Center.  Marcus Tullis (Johnstown, Pa.) paced Pitt-Johnstown with 17 points.  The Mountain CAts finished the season with a 24-8 overall record.

Back-to-back baskets by Tullis and Patrick Grubbs (Turtle Creek, Pa.) put Pitt-Johnstown up 4-0, but Gannon tied the score 6-6 on former Mountain Cat Kyle Goldcamp's layup 4:00 into the game.

William Sharpe's (Johnstown, Pa.) free-throws at 12:25 put Pitt-Johnstown up 13-8.  However, the Golden Knights used six straight Mountain Cat misses from the field and answered with a 14-8 run to take their first lead of the game on Goldcamp's tip-in with 7:20 left.  Gannon extended the run to 23-12 and built the lead to 31-25 at 2:24.

Danny Branch's (Washington, D.C.) third three-pointer of the first half with 1:10 remaining cut the Pitt-Johnstown deficit to 33-30, but Gannon ended the half with a pair of layups to take its largest lead at 37-30.

The Golden Knights opened the second half with two straight three-pointers off of Mountain Cat missed layups to push the lead to 43-30. 

Pitt-Johntown cut the lead to nine on Tullis' layup 1:21 later, but Gannon quickly extended the lead to 51-36 on Tyler Stoczynski's three-pointer at 15:09.

A 5-0 Mountain Cat run over the next 2:20 capped by Tullis' free-throws pulled Pitt- Johnstown to within 51-41.  However, four consecutive Mountain Cat turnovers aided a 14-5 Golden Knights' run that increased the lead 65-46 with 8:19 left.

Pitt-Johnstown cut it to 16 points on Grubbs' layup and free-throw at 7:25, but that was as close as the Mountain Cats would get.  Gannon took its largest lead of the night at 76-52 on Stoczynski's layup with 1:27 to play, before going on to the 23-victory.

Tullis led three Mountain Cats who scored in double figures with 17 points on 6-11 shooting from the field and 4-4 from the free-throw line.  Branch added 11 points on 4-7 shooting, including three three-pointers, while Quinton Davis (Pittsburgh, Pa.) rounded out the double figure scorers with 10 points, six rebounds and four assists.

The Mountain Cats ended the night shooting 41.3% (19-46) from the field, 6-15 from three-point range and 9-11 from the free-throw line, while the Golden Knights shot 47.0% (31-66), from the field, 10-26 from behind the three-point line and 4-4 from the charity stripe.  Gannon also out rebounded Pitt-Johnstown 38-25, including holding a 13-3 advantage on the offensive end.

Pierre Howard 's 19 points led a balanced Gannon attack that saw five players score in double figures.  Goldcamp added 14 points and a game-high 18 rebounds, while Stoczynski and George Johnson each tallied 13 points.  Cory Knight rounded out the double-figures with 10 points.

The Golden Knights improved to 28-3 overall and 19-1 at home.  Gannon will take on the winner of the Johnson C. Smith-Alderson-Broaddus game in Sunday's Atlantic Region Semifinals.