Gannon University’s men’s basketball team finished the Gary Miller Classic 1-1, driven by two 20-plus point performances from DeAnte Cisero and Frank Webb in consecutive games.
The Knights tipped off the classic Friday night at the Hammermill Center against Alderson Broaddus, a game in which Cisero recorded a new career high with 27 points to lead Gannon to an 81-74 win.
In Saturday’s tournament final, Webb poured in a career-high 24 points, but it wasn’t enough as No. 11 Ashland held off the Knights for an 81-76 victory.
The tournament split left Gannon 2-3 overall and 1-1 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference action going into Saturday’s 3 p.m. road matchup with Kutztown. After a week off, the Knights will return to action Dec. 14 at St. Bonaventure.
In Friday’s tournament opener against Alderson Broaddus, a 15-point first half from Cisero was not enough for Gannon, as it went into the intermission down 35-25.
Things got worse before they got better, as the Knights trailed 44-29 less than two minutes into the second half. But Gannon, which shot just 28% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, caught fire in the second half, connecting on 20 of 31 shots from the floor for a 64.5% mark.
After battling back to tie, Gannon took the lead with a 6-2 run that made it 65-61, and then used a 9-2 spurt down the stretch to pull away and secure the win in a second half in which they scored 56 points.
This win marked the 50th for Gannon during the Gary Miller Classic. The Knights also have also won the Classic 18 times, doing so last in 2017.
Cisero’s career-high 27 points went along with 10 rebounds to give him a double-double on the night. This is now the third time the senior from Chicago has recorded double-digit points on the year.
Victory Olawoye added 16 points and Webb contributed 14 points, six rebounds and a career-best seven assists.
In Saturday’s tournament final, Ashland entered the game with a 6-0 record and showed why in the first half, bolting to a 28-13 lead and eventually settling for a 45-34 edge at halftime.
Gannon came out in the second half and answered a 6-0 Ashland run with an 11-2 run of its own, fueled by two 3-pointers from Chris Clancy. However, Ashland bounced right back and extended its lead to 61-51 with just over 11 minutes to play in the contest.
But the Knights would not go away. Webb connected on a layup with 2:34 to play, pulling Gannon to within three points. Then, with 24 seconds remaining on the clock Clancy came up big for the Knights with another triple to make the score 78-76.
However, the Eagles were able to knock down some free throws down the stretch and secure the five-point win in a hard-fought game.
Gannon shot 50% from 3-point range (9-18), as well as 51.7% from the field (30-58) overall. Webb’s career-high 24 points came on a career-high 10 field goals, giving him double digits in his last two games and three times this season.
Webb added to his accolades by finishing the tournament on the Gary Miller Classic All-Tournament Team. Webb was joined by two Ashland players, Drew Noble and Derek Koch, as well as Alderson Broaddus’ Troy Cantrell and Le Moyne’s Nino Hernandez.