November 24, 2012

Men's basketball claims GU Holiday Tournament title; Vann named MVP

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Four players scored in double figures, including senior Travon Vann who came off the bench to put up a team-high 18 points, leading the Salisbury University men's basketball team to a 69-66 win against Valley Forge Christian College in the championship game of the Gallaudet Holiday Tournament on Saturday.

Vann, who was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, was 5-of-12 shooting from the floor and 8-of-11 from the free-throw line while pulling down nine rebounds and dishing out seven assists. Junior Tim Harwood, who put up 15 points in the title game on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the three-point arc, was also named to the All-Tournament Team.

The game started in Valley Forge Christian's favor as the Patriots (3-2) opened up an 11-2 lead, forcing two Salisbury turnovers in the opening 3:29 of action and prompting a pair of Sea Gull timeouts. But the Gulls (5-1) would battle back, putting together a 10-0 run over the next two minutes to grab a 12-11 lead.

Salisbury got three-pointers from seniors Dylan Robeson and Craig Ryan during the run and when classmate Trent Epps put home a layup with 14:32 left in the first half, the Sea Gulls had their first lead of the night, forcing a Valley Forge Christian timeout.

The lead change was the first of three in the opening half and seven in the game. Salisbury got the final lead change of the opening half after Harwood tied the game at 17 with one of his two first-half triples with 8:16 remaining and junior Troy King finished off a put back on the offensive end to grab a 19-17 lead.

The Sea Gulls would maintain their advantage until the Patriots tied the game, 28-28, with 3:40 left in the opening period on Kevin Mack's jumper. Mack scored 15 on the night for Valley Forge Christian, and the bucket would be the final points for either team before halftime.

The Patriots made an early run in the second half, taking a 34-28 lead just over two minutes into the final period, before the Gulls chipped away.

Harwood and sophomore Chris Viqueira connected on three-pointers on successive Salisbury possessions, cutting the deficit to one, 35-34, with 15:44 left in the game and just over a minute later Vann was true on a pair of free throws to give Salisbury a 39-38 advantage.

Valley Forge Christian had one run left, retaking the lead and pushing its edge to seven points, 60-53, with seven minutes left, but the Sea Gulls would close the game on a 16-6 run to earn their second tournament championship this season.

Viqueira tied the game with 2:14 left on a three from Vann and Vann's three-point play with 1:44 remaining would mark the final lead change of the game.

Viqueira scored 10 points in the game, while King finished with a dozen and six rebounds, four of which came on the offensive end.

The Patriots were paced by Jonathan Dukes, who scored a game-high 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

Salisbury will be off until Saturday, Dec. 1, when the Sea Gulls travel to Penn State University-Abington. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.

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