February 16, 2013

DeShields Contributes 27 Points to Near-Upset of Royals

61-58 Setback Brings Curtain Down on 2012-13 Campaign

TOWSON, Md. — When Goucher needed a 3-point basket on its final possession to send tonight's Landmark Conference game against Scranton into overtime, the Gophers went to Troy DeShields (Seaford, Del./Sussex Technical), the player with the hot hand who had already tallied a career-high 27 points.

After all, up to that point of the contest, the freshman forward had missed only three of the 14 shots he took.

Unfortunately for the Gophers, DeShields' last-second attempt from several feet behind the 3-point stripe struck the rim, but wouldn't go in, allowing the Royals to escape the Decker Sports & Recreation Center with a hard-fought 61-58 victory.

The 27 points is the most a Goucher player has ever scored in the series against Scranton, which the Royals now lead 12-0.

Early on, it didn't look like the Gophers (6-18, 4-10 Landmark) would even be within striking distance of Scranton down the stretch. The Royals (19-6, 10-4 Landmark) scored the first nine points and assumed an 11-1 lead on a layup by Ross Danzig just 2:28 into the contest.

Goucher made a quick comeback, however, and took its first lead at 14-13 on a layup by Julian Livingston (Bowie, Md./Fairmont Heights) midway through the first half. The Gophers, who were 11-for-23 from the field (.478) in the first half, led 29-24 after 20 minutes.

After Goucher stretched its advantage to 34-26 in the first three minutes of the second half, Scranton responded with 10 consecutive points to go back in front, 36-34. From that point until the final buzzer, neither team was ahead by more six points, there were three ties and the lead changed hands 10 more times.

The Gophers went ahead for the final time on a short jumper by DeShields with 1:44 remaining that made the score 58-57. Goucher even had two possessions with a chance to tie the score after Travis Farrell made four free throws in a span of 36 seconds to provide the Royals with a three-point advantage, but the first ended with a turnover.

The Royals had an opportunity to add to their 61-58 lead, but Tommy Morgan missed two free throws with 9.4 seconds left to play.

DeShields, who came up one rebound shy of the first double-double of his career, was Goucher's only double-digit scorer. Livingston supplied the Gophers with seven points and Zachary Hall (Catonsville, Md./Catonsville) added six points.

Danzig captured scoring honors for the Royals by knocking down 18 points.

The loss brought an end to Goucher's 2012-13 campaign.