PRESIDENTS' ATHLETIC CONFERENCE Grove City hits several marks
Coach Steve Lamie won his 100th game.
GROVE CITY -- The scoreboard read "Grove City 65, Thiel 50," but that was only part of the story Wednesday night at the Wolvarena.
In addition to Grove City remaining perfect (4-0) in the Presidents' Athletic Conference, the game was the 2,000th in Wolverines' history, and the victory was the 100th in the seven-year career of coach Steve Lamie.
The win was also the 100th for the Wolverines over Thiel, and Grove City set a new team mark with eight straight PAC victories, spanning the past two seasons.
"I guess if you are a number cruncher and are into math, it was fun," said Lamie. "But of those things, I think the most important is our being 4-0 in the conference at this point of the season. That is what I was concentrating on.
"The guys congratulated me on the 100th win, but that is really a tribute to them. I was joking around with Phil Bushre, who has been here for five years and has probably been a part of 75 of those wins. That, along with the guys who played for me and have since graduated, is what makes it special to me."
After trailing by nine eight minutes into the game, the Tomcats (4-14, 0-4) battled back to cut the deficit to 14-12 midway through the opening half.
But that is when the Wolverines began playing tough defense, generating offense off a number of Thiel turnovers to run off 18 unanswered points to open a 34-15 lead at halftime.
"I thought our defense was very good because we held them to 15 points in the first half," said Lamie. "We couldn't shoot it to save our lives. We were something like 0-for-15 from 3-point range. The two things we did do well was get some penetration as well as get some fast break points and that allowed us to have that lead. But I think it was the defense that really made things happen."
One of the big factors in the Wolverines' success during the opening 20 minutes was their dominance off the boards as they held a lopsided 32-11 edge.
"That margin is somewhat out of character for us, but I also think it was largely due to their missing so many outside shots," said Lamie. "When they missed from out there, it gave us a lot more opportunities to rebound the basketball."
After Thiel scored the first four points of the second half, Grove City (11-7, 4-0) kept working on both ends of the floor as they scored eight unanswered points on the front end of a 19-4 run to lead by as many as 30.
"We talked about it [allowing Thiel to come back] right after the game and the guys actually started apologizing for just having a letdown," Lamie said. "But you have to give Thiel credit because they kept plugging away."
Bushre led all scorers with 21 points, while Ryan Eller finished with 13 and J. D. Collar added 10. Matt Phillips and Mike Lukcic added 10 rebounds apiece, and Phillips also had eight assists.
For Thiel, Stephan Laird scored 13 points, while Joe Herrmann and Daryl Moore added 11 each.