Towson, Md. — Goucher shot an obliterating 62.5% (15-of-24) from the field in the second half, outscoring the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy 44-34, en route to a 78-67 victory in the final meeting between the two teams in the Decker Sports & Recreation Center.
The final 20 minutes of play consisted of six ties and four lead changes. Though, the most important lead change came in favor of Tom Rose's squad with 8:25 remaining in the second half. With the score knotted at 54 apiece, Mychal Stefanides (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) forced a steal and found Ed Oliver (Adelphi, Md./High Point), in stride, at the other end to push in a layup to take the two point lead. Goucher's next possession ended with a bang as Norman Allen II (Bowie, Md./Riverdale Baptist), one of five seniors playing their final game, nailed a 3-point shot to extend the advantage to five — and for good.
The Gophers (10-15, 6-10 Landmark) took their first lead of the game as time wound down in the opening half. Kevin Miles (District Heights, Md./Gwynn Park) grabbed the rebound off of a missed jumper by Oliver and sunk it for the 34-33 advantage. The basket capped a 8-0 run which began at the 5-minute mark of the first.
At the half, Goucher held the slim, 34-33 advantage.
The Gophers had some catching up to do right out the get-go as the visiting team scored the first 11 points of the contest. The Mariners (11-13, 6-9) scored a basket on four of their first five possessions.
A made free throw by Chris Outing (New Windsor, N.Y./James I. O'Neill), the team's first point with 16:36 remaining in the opening half, seemed to spark fire under Tom Rose's squad as the team rattled off 12 points — only allowing two — in a run that tied the game up at 13 apiece. The tying shot came off the hands of Miles as he knocked down a short-range jumper.
Goucher's 11-point result was only the second time in program history that it beat Merchant Marine at home, in the Decker SRC.
Four players tallied double-digits for Goucher. Miles led scoring with 21 points while Outing followed with 17 and 10 rebounds, good for his third double-double of the season. Allen added 13 points while Oliver notched 10 in the win.
The Gophers were 21-for-26 (80.8%) from the free-throw line, completing their record-breaking campaign at the stripe. Goucher shot 74.1% on the season which is the top made free-throw percentage since the program's 1996-97 season (72.6%).