Giants’ second-half rally falls short at Gwynedd Mercy Monday evening

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Gwynedd Valley, Pa.—A 21-point victory turned out to be anything but comfortable for Gwynedd Mercy University against Keystone College in Colonial States Athletic Conference men's basketball action Monday evening at The Griffin Complex.

Keystone sliced a 23-point halftime deficit down to 11 with 6:32 to play before the Griffins scored eight straight points to regain the momentum on their way to an 88-67 victory.

Senior forward Will Davis led Gwynedd Mercy, now 18-5 overall and 13-3 in the CSAC, with 27 points and 10 rebounds and junior guard Courtney Cubbage and sophomore guard Rich Dunham chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively.  Sophomore guard Perry Belcher led the Giants, now 10-13 overall and 8-8 in the conference, with 16 points and senior guard Mark Gilliam and sophomore guard Jalen Flynn chipped in 15 and 13 points.

It was a tale of two halves for Keystone, which fell into a sixth-place tie with Marywood University in the CSAC standings with two games remaining.

The Giants allowed 54 points in the first half, largely due to their inability to keep the Griffins away from the basket.   Gwynedd Mercy consistently got into the lane and was able to convert down low, finishing with 26 points in the paint, a major reason why it shot over 55 percent from the field. On the other hand, Keystone settled for perimeter jump shots and made just 10 of 29 field goal attempts (34.5 percent).

The Giants' defensive intensity picked up in the second half, thanks largely to a 1-3-1 match-up zone that kept the Griffins away from the basket and took them out of their game plan.  Slowly, but surely, Keystone whittled away at the lead and got within striking distance.

But with an opportunity to cut the lead under 10 points, the Giants committed three turnovers on their next four possessions and Davis and Cubbage scored four points apiece to turn a nerve-wracking 67-56 lead into a comfortable 75-56 advantage with 4:03 left.

For the game, Gwynedd Mercy out-scored Keystone, 48-34, in the lane and converted 18 Giant turnovers into 27 points. 

Keystone returns home Wednesday, February 14, to host Centenary University beginning at 8:00 p.m. in the Gambal Athletic Center in La Plume.  Prior to tip-off, Bryan Williams, Terrence Palmer and Gilliam will be honored as part of Senior Night festivities on campus.