Gophers Apply Finishing Touches in Overtime

Gophers Apply Finishing Touches in Overtime

TOWSON, Md. — Ed Oliver (Adelphi, Md./High Point) tallied five of Goucher's 17 points in overtime, finished with a career-high total of 21 points and was one of six double-figure scorers for the victorious Gophers, who earned their first Landmark Conference win of the 2015-16 campaign tonight by turning back Moravian, 95-88.

Oliver, who had never surpassed 16 points in a game prior to tonight's contest, nearly had his second double-double of the season by halftime. He furnished the Gophers (5-10, 1-5 Landmark) with 14 points in 15 minutes by going 7-for-10 from the field, plus he was credited with eight rebounds, one assist and one steal.

The senior forward's final basket of the first half with :52 showing on the clock provided Goucher with its biggest lead up to that point at 42-33, but Moravian got two points closer on its final possession of the period thanks to a mid-range jumper by Isaiah Jennings.

The Gophers went up 10 points for the first time when Kevin Miles (District Heights, Md./Gwynn Park) nailed a shot from 3-point range to open the scoring in the second half. A layup by Troy DeShields (Seaford, Del./Sussex Technical) at 15:42 and a 3-point basket by Tucker Canary (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair) less than a minute later both put the home team up by 11 points, which turned out to be Goucher's biggest advantage during regulation.

After Canary's 3-pointer, it took the Greyhounds (6-8, 2-5 Landmark), who defeated head coach Tom Rose's squad, 83-74, in the first Landmark Conference game of the season for both teams back in December, over six minutes to completely erase their deficit, but they caught the Gophers at 66-66 on a pair of free throws by Oneil Holder with 8:25 remaining. Moravian went ahead for the first time since 12-10 on a 3-point basket by Matt Cardonne that made the score 71-70 with just over five minutes left to play.

During the final five minutes of regulation, the lead changed hands four times. After regaining a one-point edge on a basket by Holder with 1:30 remaining, Moravian got a stop at one end and then a offensive rebound and follow by Sean Hanna at the other to go up 78-75.

Goucher answered with a made 3-pointer by Mychal Stefanides (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright), knotting up the score at 78=78, which was the seventh tie of the contest.

The Greyhounds had the first chance to break the deadlock when Holder was awarded two free throws with six seconds remaining, but after he missed both of them, Stefanides dribbled nearly the length of the court, but the off-balance jumper he got off right before the final horn wouldn't drop.

Just 17 seconds into the five-minute extra session, Miles put Goucher up by two with a pair of free throws. On the home team's next possession, Miles found Oliver open down low for a layup. Oliver was also fouled on the play and made the free throw, which expanded the lead to 83-79.

After five straight scoreless possessions by the two teams, the Greyhounds fouled Canary with 2:03 remaining. His two makes changed the score to 85-79 in favor of the Gophers.

Moravian failed again to score on its next two possessions, while Goucher came away with made baskets by Tre Galloway III (Fort Washington, Md./Paint Branch) and Stefanides to go up 89-79. During the final minute of overtime, the Gophers tacked six more points onto their total with a dunk by Oliver and four free throws.

By making all nine of their foul shots in OT, the Gophers finished with an 18-of-21 performance (.857) at the charity stripe. It was also their second game in a row and third of the season in which they shot better than 50 percent from the field as they were successful on 36 of their 65 attempts (.554).

Goucher could catch Moravian in the Landmark Conference standings with a win Saturday over Elizabethtown. The Blue Jays (2-13, 0-7 Landmark) will host the Gophers in Thompson Gymnasium at 2 p.m.