03/16/08 — Pitt-Johnstown shocks No. 23-ranked Mount Olive

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Pitt-Johnstown shocks No. 23-ranked Mount Olive

Published in Sports on March 16, 2008 2:03 AM

UPJ Sports Information

CALIFORNIA, Pa. -- Daktronics East Region Player of the Year Chris Gilliam collected game highs of 21 points and 14 rebounds as the seventh-seeded Pitt-Johnstown defense held nationally-ranked Mount Olive to just 3-33 shooting from 3-point range in an 83-54 victory in the 2008 NCAA Division II East Regional.

Pitt Johnstown (23-7 overall) advances to today's semifinal-round game against Millersville (Pa.) University, which upset third-seeded Edinboro (Pa.) earlier in the day.

Mount Olive (24-7) fell behind 6-0 in the game's opeing minute and never recovered. Pitt Johnstown, led by Gilliam's 15 points and nine rebounds in the first half, built the lead to 18-8, before the Trojans clawed back to within 23-19 with 9:46 left in the half.

However, the Mountain Cats closed out the first half on a 22-7 run and limited the Trojans to just a Mike Holloman layup over the final 5:23 of the half to take a 45-26 halftime lead.

It was more of the same in the second half.

Mount Olive, which trailed by 27 points at the 14:40 mark, cut the lead back to 19 on Craig Hayes' jump shot with 11:24 to play. Pitt-Johnstown quickly answered with a Danny Branch 3-pointer that ingnited a 9-2 run to increase the lead to 72-46, and cruised to the 29-point win.

Gilliam's double-double was his 10th of the season and fourth in the last five games. The junior finished 8-10 from the field and 5-6 from the free-throw line to lead three Mountain Cats who scored in double figures. Marcus Tullis added 15 points on 7-8 shooting and five rebounds, while Branch rounded out the double-figure scorers with 14 points.

The Mountain Cats won the rebounding battle 48-34.

Holloman led the Trojans with 15 points and eight rebounds. Hayes chipped in nine points, while Justin Melton had eight points and five rebounds.