March 6, 2009

Courtesy Gwynedd-Mercy Athletics

POMONA, N.J. – Behind a game-high 23 points from junior Lemeire Talley (Blackwood, N.J./Highland), Gwynedd-Mercy took out #21 Amherst, 68-62, in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Division III Tournament Friday night.

Junior Matt Johnson (Philadelphia, Pa./Strawberry Mansion) added 10 points and nine boards while sophomore Jon Hogga (Phoenixville, Pa./Phoenixville) chipped in 12.

GM will play the host Richard Stockton tomorrow at 7 p.m. The Ospreys were 79-65 winners over RPI in the first game.

The Griffins (23-5) trailed by as much as eight at the 13:51 mark of the first. Hogga’s jumper gave GM its first lead and later his three-pointer upped the edge to 24-21.

Hogga then hit a tough finger roll layin and was fouled. His free throw gave Gwynedd a 32-26 lead with 3:59.

Another trey from Talley, who scored 15 points in the first stanza, followed by a turnaround jumper in the paint from Hogga, was part of an 11-1 run to spike GM ahead, 39-28 with 1:25 on the clock.

But a late 3 from Marcus Bradley with under five seconds in the stanza cut the score to 41-33 at the half.

The Lord Jeffs were just 11-of-30 shooting, but seven of their field goals were three-pointers. Gwynedd hit on 50.0% (15-of-30) in the first 30 minutes, going 5-for-10 from downtown.

Amherst scored the first five points of the second, pulling within 41-38 to force a Gwynedd timeout. GM responded by forcing two turnovers as part of a 10-0 spurt, capped by Talley’s reverse layup to give GM a 51-38 edge forcing Amherst to call their own timeout.

Smith’s spin move underneath drew a foul, and with the ensuing free throw, Gwynedd held a 58-44 edge with 9:55 on the clock.

Amherst once again rallied outscoring GM on a 15-2 run over the next seven minutes to get within one, 60-59 on a Taylor Barrise layin at the 3:01 mark.

Dave Smith (Cape May Court House, N.J./Middle Twp.), who scored nine of his 11 points in the second half helped GM pull away, scoring the next four points, the last coming with 1:21 remaining on a leaner in the paint.

Talley would ice the game on a breakaway dunk off a homerun pass from Johnson.

Conor Meehan led the Lord Jeffs (21-7) with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Steven Wheeler added 14 as he hit four of the team’s 11 three-pointers.

For the game, the Griffins shot 43.3 (26-of-60) held a 40-39 rebound edge.