WASHINGTON, D.C. – It was another nail-biting men's basketball game between Penn St.-Berks and Gallaudet University on Sunday at the Field House as the two North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) teams battled to the final whistle. The Bison prevailed with the 71-69 victory in the final home game for this semester.
Four or less points have determined the past three games between these two schools. Last year, Berks escaped the Field House with a 70-69 win while GU won 90-86 on the road.
Three different Bison recorded season-high point totals in the game. Each team had four players in double figures.
Senior guard Tony Tatum (Gardendale, Ala.) scored a game-high 21 points and a grabbed a season-high eight rebounds to go with two assists and two steals as he played all 40 minutes. Senior forward Layton Seeber (Champaign, Ill.) had a complete game with 18 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and two steals. Tatum and Seeber combined to commit 18 of Gallaudet's 22 turnovers against the tough pressure defense shown by the Nittany Lions.
Sophomore forward Tyler Crace (Westfield, Ind.) matched his career-high, 13 points, as he made 4 of 7 shots from three-point range and ripped down a season-high eight rebounds. Freshman guard Jaris Alleyne (Waldorf, Md.) came off the bench to score 10.
The Bison (4-5, 2-0 NEAC South) led from start to finish in the game. GU took a 42-36 lead into halftime as both teams shot over 50 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes.
Gallaudet led by as much as 20 with nine minutes left in regulation before the Nittany Lions (0-7, 0-2 NEAC South) mounted a comeback. Penn St.-Berks went on an 18-0 run over the next six minutes to cut the lead to 66-64. A minute later, Dontez Reid (10 points) made a three-pointer as the Nittany Lions only trailed by one point, 68-67. The Bison closed the game with some clutch free throw shooting. Junior guard Jocus Houston (Baton Rouge, La.) made two with 15 seconds left.
The Bison matched their season-high rebound total with 43 rebounds, four more than Berks, and scored 27 points off 22 turnovers committed by the Nittany Lions. Berks controlled the paint with a 40-26 margin thanks in large part by the play by center Tom Smith (18 points, eight rebounds) and forward Tim Smith (15 points, five rebounds). Guard Tore Turner was the fourth Nittany Lion to reach double figures with 13 points.
Gallaudet will close out this semester on the road Saturday, Dec. 17, with a short trip across town to face Catholic University of America at 7 p.m.