The Genesee Community College men's basketball team made a late charge on the road at Mercyhurst North East on Saturday afternoon, but came up short in their fourth conference loss of the season.
Both teams played at an even pace until late in the first half when Mercyhurst turned an 18-18 tie into a 30-24 lead with a pair of three-point baskets and a trio of layups on the offensive end. The Saints took a 43-39 lead into the break.
In the second half, Joe Gray turned a missed shot into a tip-in basket and tied the game at 54 with 14 minutes left in the game. The Saints responded with a 16-6 run and took a ten-point, 70-60 lead with eight minutes remaining. Mercyhurst upped their lead to as many as 14 with five minutes to go, but the Cougars battled back.
Malik Brown hit a jump shot with under three minutes to play to cut the lead down to nine, and after forcing a couple of Mercyhurst turnovers, Donte Meredith got the Cougars to within five with a layup with under a minute to play. GCC then forced another turnover and capitalized with a Voughn Boler layup to make it a three-point game with less than 30 seconds to go. After a pair of made free-throws by the home team, Brown stepped into a top of the key three-pointer and cut the lead down to two with under five seconds remaining. Unable to come away with a steal, GCC was forced to put the Saints at the line where they converted on both free-throws to put the game out of reach. Mercyhurst went on to win, 91-87.
Meredith led the way for Genesee with 19 points, Boler added 15, Gray and E.J. Blackwell each finished with 14 points and Terryl Coombs grabbed ten rebounds.
The loss evens Genesee's overall season record to 11-11 and the Cougars are now 2-4 in conference play. They will return to action on Thursday when they travel to Monroe Community College.