GETTYSBURG, Pa. – For the second game in a row, Gettysburg erased an 11-point deficit, but the Bullets were unable to the complete the comeback and dropped a 69-62 decision to Delaware Valley University in the first round of the 26th annual Gettysburg Men's Basketball Tip-Off Tournament Friday evening in Bream Gym.
Senior center Tanner Kirkpatrick scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Bullets (0-2), who will take on Wittenberg University in the consolation game at 2 p.m. on Saturday. In the second first-round game, Alvernia University defeated Wittenberg 67-66 in the other first-round game and will face Delaware Valley in the tournament championship game at 4 p.m.
Gettysburg trailed 25-14 with 6:01 left in the first half and still trailed by eight (32-24) at the intermission. However, the Bullets fought back to eventually pull even at 56-all with 5:21 left on a 3-pointer from freshman guard Nick Lord. But Del Val's Manny Brown answered with back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead back to six, and the Aggies would lead the rest of the way.
Senior guard Pete Christ added 19 points while shooting 5-of-8 from 3-point range for the Bullets while senior forward Cody Kiefer contributed nine points and six rebounds.
Tyliek Kimbrough led all scorers with 27 points for Delaware Valley (2-0), the defending Freedom Conference champions who finished 20-8 a year ago. Brown tossed in 21 points while Tyrea Williams notched 12 points and seven rebounds.
The Aggies never trailed after scoring the first four points of the night. It was a 12-10 game midway through the first half before Del Val used a 6-0 spurt to open up an eight-point advantage. The visitors eventually extended their lead to 11, but the Bullets answered with an 8-0 run to pull to within three (25-22) on an off-balance 3-pointer from Lord to beat the shot clock, giving him his first collegiate points.
Delaware Valley came right back with a 7-0 surge to push their lead back to double figures with 31 seconds left. But Kirkpatrick dropped in a lay-up with five ticks showing to pull the Bullets within eight.
Christ scored the first five points of the second half to get his team to within three, and the Bullets would claw back to within two (53-51) on a 3-pointer from Christ with 7:42 remaining. A lay-up from freshman guard Joey Carroll made it 54-53 before Lord's game-tying triple.
Gettysburg refused to go quietly, however, and a pair of Kiefer free throws cut the deficit to 62-60 with 2:27 on the clock. But the Aggies pulled away with a decisive 7-0 run down the stretch, with Kimbrough hitting four straight free throws to make it 68-60 with 25 seconds left. Andre' Butler split a pair of foul shots with 17 ticks showing before Kiefer set the final score with a dunk in the closing seconds.
The second first-round game featured a wild finish. Miller knocked down an NBA-range 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with five seconds left to make it 67-64. The Alvernia bench was then called for a technical foul, and Wittenberg's Ryan Gallimore sunk a pair of free throws to pull the Tigers to within one. Alvernia's Alex Shippen then clinched the victory for the Crusaders when he stole a pass on a Wittenberg fastbreak as time expired. Gallimore led all players with 28 points while shooting 6-of-11 from 3-point range while Marquis Marshall led Alvernia with 23 points.