Gophers Earn Split Thanks to Superior FT Shooting

Gophers Earn Split Thanks to Superior FT Shooting

TOWSON, Md. — After a layup by Troy DeShields (Seaford, Del./Sussex Technical) wiped out Goucher's two-point deficit against Drew and created a 62-62 tie with 2:19 remaining , this evening's Landmark Conference contest between the Gophers and the Rangers came down to which team could make its free throws.

Zach Nolan stepped to the free-throw line with 1:20 left to play and put Drew up by a point by making his first attempt, but he missed the second. On Goucher's subsequent possession, DeShields grabbed the rebound on a missed 3-point try by one of his teammates and he, too, made the first and missed the second, leaving the two teams deadlocked at 63-63.

After making a defensive stop, the Gophers went ahead for the first time in more than eight minutes when Kevin Miles (District Heights, Md./Gwynn Park) converted a pair of free throws with :40 showing on the clock. The Rangers came up empty on their next possession, but they quickly forced a turnover and Mike Klinger was then fouled on a drive to the basket with under four seconds remaining. He missed the first attempt and then opted to intentionally miss the second, but Alex Noble (Clinton, Md./Surrattsville) grabbed the key rebound for Goucher and was immediately fouled.

Noble made both of the free throws he was awarded with 1.2 seconds remaining, sealing a 67-63 triumph for head coach Leonard Trevino's squad.

Down the stretch, the Gophers (9-14, 4-8 Landmark) were 5-of-6 at the charity stripe to complete a 17-of-21 performance (.810) for the entire game. The Rangers, on the other hand, were 12-of-27 from the free-throw line (.444), and made only one of their four attempts during the final two minutes.

From the time they opened up a 61-53 advantage on a made 3-pointer by John Ford with 5:54 left to play through the end of the contest, the Rangers (10-13, 4-8 Landmark) were 0-for-7 from the field, made two free throws and missed five others, and committed three turnovers.

The two teams, which are now tied for seventh place in the Landmark Conference, were never separated by more than five points at any time in the first half, which featured four lead changes and a pair of ties. Goucher maintained a lead throughout the second period until Klinger's successful 3-pointer tied the score at 50-50 with 9:04 left to play.

Klinger led all scorers as he supplied the visiting Rangers with 19 points. Justin Huelbig was a close second as he ended up with 18 points for Drew.

Of the three players who scored in double figures for Goucher, only one was in the starting lineup. That was Miles, who contributed 16 points to the victory. Julian Livingston (Bowie, Md./Fairmont Heights) and DeShields came in off the bench to furnish the Gophers with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Goucher controlled the boards to the tune of 44 rebounds to 33 for Drew. In addition to the 12 points he scored, Livingston had team-high totals of seven rebounds and three assists.

By winning, Goucher gained a split of the season series between the two schools. Neither the Gophers nor the Rangers have managed to beat the other twice in the same season during the seven-year existence of the Landmark Conference.

Prior to tonight's contest, Dylan Chaney (Columbia, Md./Wilde Lake) and Manney Wood (Washington, D.C./C. H. Flowers) were honored in the final home game of their four-year careers. Wood finished with six points and five rebounds on Senior Night, while Chaney collected two points and four rebounds.