A night after holding Roberts Wesleyan to 45 points, the Gannon men’s basketball team limited high-scoring Daemen to 46 points while winning the 29th annual Gary Miller Classic Saturday night with a 65-46 victory at the Hammermill Center.
Gannon held both Gary Miller Classic opponents close to the tournament’s all-time record for fewest points of 38 set by Northern Kentucky in 2009. Daemen entered Saturday’s contest averaging 89.3 points per game, before being held to 43.4 points below that average. The Golden Knights held consecutive opponents under 50 points for the first time since holding three straight teams under 50 points January 2-6, 1992.
Adam Blazek (Erie, Pa./Cathedral Prep) was named Gary Miller Classic Most Outstanding Player with 28 points, eight steals, seven rebounds and seven assists during two games.
Darrell Blanton (Cleveland, Ohio/Euclid) and Robert Wilson (Streetsboro, Ohio/Streetsboro) joined Blazek on the all-tournament team. Blanton was limited to six points and five rebounds before fouling out during the semifinals, but was a key to Saturday’s victory with 14 points and four rebounds. Wilson produced 23 points, 11 rebounds and six assists during the weekend.
The all-tournament team was completed with the selections of Daemen’s Gerald Beverly and Robert Wesleyan’s Tyrel Dixon.
Gannon provided unbelievable defensive pressure from the opening tip during Saturday’s title game. The Golden Knights scored the first seven points and didn’t allow a point until 4:35 into the contest. Blanton’s lay-up at the 14:49 mark capped an opening 9-2 run.
Daemen momentarily pulled within three points, before Gannon rolled off seven consecutive points again. Oscar Macias (Cicero, Ill./Morton) drilled a three-pointer during his first start of the season to give the Golden Knights a 16-6 advantage with 7:42 left in the first half.
Gannon then closed out the stanza with the last five points. The final two points brought the crowd to its feet as Alvin Tucker (Upper Marlboro, Md./Georgetown Prep) got a steal in the waning seconds. The redshirt senior looked up at the clock and quickly passed the ball to Rogerio Livramento (Central Falls, R.I./Central Falls), who immediately feed T.J. Wilson (Lorton, Va./Hayfield Secondary) for a driving lay-up at the buzzer. The spectacular play sent the Golden Knights into the break with their biggest lead of the half at 30-15.
Head coach John T. Reilly‘s club began the second half with five straight points to assume a 35-15 lead and was never threatened the rest of the way. The Golden Knight advantage remained between 17 and 27 points until the final horn sounded with Gannon posting a 65-46 win.
Robert Wilson led Gannon offensively with 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Blanton added 14 points and four rebounds, finishing perfect from the field (5-5) and the free throw line (4-4). Blazek completed the double-digit scorers with 13 points and five steals.
Gannon shot 45.8 percent (22-48) from the field, 35.7 percent (5-14) from three-point range and 88.9 percent (16-18) from the free throw line.
Kadeem Johnson topped all scorers on both sides with 18 points, nailing 7-of-9 shots. Beverly was the only other Wildcat in double digits with 10 points. 2011 Gary Miller Classic Most Outstanding Player Casey Sheehan was held scoreless and turned the ball over six times after scoring 19 points during the Wildcats’ semifinal victory against Virginia Union.
Daemen shot 33.3 percent (17-51) from the floor, 18.8 percent (3-16) from behind the arc and 64.3 percent (9-14) from the charity stripe.
Gannon remained perfect at 4-0 with its 11th championship during the last 14 Gary Miller Classics. Defending champion Daemen dropped to 8-3. The Golden Knights open Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) action Saturday, December 1 against Kutztown. Game time at the Hammermill Center is scheduled for 3 p.m.
In Saturday’s consolation game, Roberts Wesleyan (2-2) placed three players in double digits en route to a 66-59 victory against Virginia Union (0-3).
For more about all of Gannon’s sports teams, check out http://www.gannonsports.com.