02/22/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/22/2020 16:25
UTICA, N.Y. - One of the most storied careers in Gallaudet University men's basketball history came to a close here Saturday afternoon. Senior guard Noah Valencia (Riverside, Calif.) was substituted out of the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) game against SUNY Poly with 28 seconds left and he embraced his head coach Kevin Kovacs for one final time.
Valencia gave it his all as he poured in a game-high 41 points but it was not enough to lift the Bison past the host Wildcats who won by 11 points, 80-69.
Valencia finished just eight points shy of tying assistant coach Brian Bippus (1987-91) career point total of 1,882. Valencia finished his career with 1,874 points in 102 games to go with 356 rebounds, a program best 337 3-pointers made out of 952 3-point attempts, 212 assists, 197 steals and seven blocks.
Gallaudet (5-20, 5-11 NEAC) trailed 38-33 at the half and couldn't get the lead in the second half as the host Wildcats outscored the Bison, 42-36. SUNY Poly led for over 36 minutes and its largest lead was 11 points early in the second half.
SUNY Poly (16-9, 13-3 NEAC) finished the regular-season as the top team in the NEAC North Division and will receive a bye in next week's conference tournament.
Junior guard Preston Kelly (Fishers, Ind.) was GU's second-leading scorer with 13 points, seven boards, two steals and two assists. Senior center Steve Valencia-Biskupiak (Riverside, Calif.) finished with four points and three rebounds before he fouled out.
The Wildcats had four players in double figures led by forward Tyshaun Cooper's 21-point game while forward Josh Gregory recorded the double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The game marked the final game for several Bison on the 2019-20 roster. Valencia and Valencia-Biskupiak were GU's lone four-year players on the roster in addition to two senior team managers in Colton Crace and Jomar Figueroa. Junior Giovanni Maucere (Studio City, Calif.) and sophomore Matt Sherman (Angora, Minn.) also played, likely, their final games in the buff and blue. Valenica-Biskupiak, who played for the Bison from 2003-06 (two seasons) to go with this season and last year, finished his career with 766 points, 382 rebounds, 104 assists, 93 blocks and 55 steals in 87 games played. Sherman only played two seasons for the Bison and finished with 184 points, 141 rebounds, 31 assists and 19 steals in 51 games played. Maucere played in three seasons and tallied 74 points, 73 rebounds, 23 assists, six blocks and five steals in 36 games played.
This concludes the 2019-20 season for the Bison.