Reading, Pa. ...
Sophomore Pierre Bowery scored a game-high 28 points and Frostburg State used a 28-7 second-half run to claim an exciting 77-71 victory over Alvernia (Pa.) College in the semifinals of the ECAC Southern Region Championship Saturday night at Albright College’s Bollman Center.
The Bobcats, who improved to 20-9 on the season, advance to Sunday’s 1:00 p.m. championships game against either top seed Albright or fifth-seeded King’s. The 20 wins is the second-highest total in school history behind the 24-4 mark set by the 1970-71 squad. The Crusaders end their season with an 18-10 overall mark.
"We just played defense and rebounded in the second half," explained Bobcat second-year Head Coach Webb Hatch, who has led FSU to a remarkable turnaround from its 6-19 season just a year ago. "Alvernia missed some shots [in the second half], but part of that is I think they got tired because we’re a little deeper."
Trailing 55-42 with 14:41 to play in the game, the Bobcats went on a 14-2 spurt to pull to within a point, 57-56, with just over eight minutes remaining. Junior Elroy Henley scored five points in the run and freshman Ryan Grabill drained a three-pointer with a second left on the shot clock to bring the Bobcats to within four, 57-53, at the 9:45 mark. Grabill then fed junior Reynolds Mason for a lay-up, and Mason added a free-throw to complete the three-point play and bring the Bobcats to within one.
After Tillman Sims sank a pair of free throws to give Alvernia a 59-56 edge, Bowery got hot, scoring nine of the Bobcats’ next ten points. His short jumper in the lane put FSU ahead for good, 61-60, with just under six minutes left.
FSU opened a 70-62 lead on junior Sean Brown’s free throws at the 3:33 mark, but Alvernia stayed close. Chris Alba drained a three-pointer with 1:10 left to end Alvernia’s stretch of 12:06 wihtout a field goal and added a pair of free throws moments later to make it a 72-69 game with 52.7 seconds remaining, but his potential game-tying shot missed with 22 ticks left and FSU senior Billy Tose sank four straight free throws to seal the win.
The Bobcats came out of the gates quickly in the first half, building an 8-3 lead in the first two minutes before Alvernia answered with a 5-0 to forge an 8-8 tie. Frostburg State then caught fire from the outside – sinking six three-pointers in an 18-9 run – to take a 26-17 lead at the 13:17 mark.
Grabill began the spurt with a trey from the top of the arc, and junior Robert Ayers and followed suit from opposite corners. Brown, who finished with 14 points, then hit consecutive threes before Tose drained one from the right corner to give the Bobcats their biggest lead of the game.
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303