PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. – Goucher College opened its 30th men's basketball season in program history with a 95-87 loss at the University of Valley Forge on Friday.
Seniors Dwayne Morton (Baltimore, Md./Waynesville [Mo.]) and Pat Goralski (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) paced the Gophers with 16 points each. The duo did some damage at the free throw line, combining for 14-for-14 from the charity stripe.
Morton posted double figures for the third-straight season opener and now has 36 career games with at least 10 points. The senior has 21 double figure games in his last 27 games.
Goralski notched his 12th double-figure game in his career after posting 11 in his junior campaign. The senior also had seven rebounds and tied a career high for the third time with four assists in the game.
Freshmen Josh Lichti (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) and Raekwon Becks (Hagerstown, Md./Williamsport) made their collegiate debut in the starting lineup and both notched double figures. Litchi registered 13 points and Becks notched a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Cam Isaacs (Randallstown, Md./Randallstown) also found double figures with 12 points in the loss for his 11th double-digit performance of his career.
With the score tied at 10, Morton powered a 10-1 run with five points that was capped by a Timmy O'Farrell (Davidsonville, Md./Archbishop Spalding) basket with 13:54 left in the first half for a 20-11 lead.
Valley Forge answered with a 20-2 run to take a 31-22 lead with 8:34 on the clock.
Fueled by six points apiece by Morton and Josh Carter (Beltsville, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti), the Gophers closed the stanza on a 21-10 run to go into the locker room with a 43-41 edge.
The Patriots scored the first four points of the second half and Isaacs tied the game at 45 for the final time on two free throws with 17:59 left.
Valley Forge then used six 3-pointers to go on a 19-6 spurt to take the lead for good and grab a 64-51 lead with 12:56 on the clock.
Goucher used a full court press to cut the margin under 10 in the final minute, but could get no closer the rest of the way.
Carter and Darrell Collins (Baltimore, Md./New Town) both made their collegiate debuts off the bench with Carter registering six points and six rebounds while Collins had seven points. O'Farrell added seven points off the bench.
The Gophers, who scored 80 points twice last season, had five players score in double figures and the team scored the most points in a game since posting 96 points against Christendom on December 8, 2018.
Goucher returns to action on Tuesday when the squad makes its Decker Sports and Recreation Center debut against Johns Hopkins. Tipoff is 7 p.m. Marc Cousins, a member of the 1993-94 Gopher championship team will serve as the guest coach to help kickoff the 25th Anniversary celebration of the 1994-95 season that resulted in the college's first NCAA Division III Tournament victory.