MIAMI, Fla. — A late rally in the final minutes was not enough to help Goucher overcome a poor beginning to the second half, as the Gophers fell 83-76 to Eastern at the Adidas Holiday Slam this afternoon.
Goucher (4-5) led 34-32 over the Eagles (5-4) at halftime, but fell behind by double digits early on after the break. The deficit was 76-67 with 3:21 to go when the Gophers went on a 9-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Kevin Miles (District Heights, Md./Gwynn Park), to cut it to 78-76, but Eastern scored the game's final five points to close it out.
Julian Livingston (Bowie, Md./Fairmont Heights) paced Goucher with a game-high 24 points and seven rebounds, hitting 10 of 18 shots from the field. Alex Noble (Clinton, Md./Surrattsville) chipped in a season-high 23 points on 8 of 13 shooting, while Miles added 16 points off the bench.
Livingston has now registered at least 10 points in six games this year as he continues to lead the team in scoring for the season, while Noble has scored in double figures in four of the last five contests. Jesse Mondry (Medford, Ore./South Medford) added nine points, nailing three shots from long distance.
The first half was marked by long scoring runs for each team. The Gophers held an initial 13-7 advantage before the Eagles scored 11 straight to take a five point lead. Goucher responded with a 7-0 run of its own to reclaim a 20-18 edge, and they would remain in front heading into the break.
The Gophers' defense struggled in the second half, giving up 51 points and allowing Eastern to shoot 63.3 percent from the field. For the game, the Eagles shot 53.4 percent while Goucher hit 47.5 percent of its shots. Eastern had four players score in double figures, led by Shaquan Turk with 16 points.
Goucher looks to get back on track tomorrow afternoon with a 4 p.m. contest against UMass Dartmouth. The Corsairs (6-3) defeated Geneva 90-80 to conclude the tournament's first day earlier this evening.