WESTMINSTER -- It didn't take Jay Gangemi and his Johns Hopkins teammates long to establish the pattern for the evening.
Only a few minutes into the game, the Blue Jays had a 17-8 hold on Western Maryland on 7-for-8 shooting. After nine minutes they were 13-for-17, including 7-for-7 from three-point range, for a 19-point bulge.
And with 3 1/2 minutes left in the first half, Gangemi had 20 points, three above his team-high average.
The end result was a 103-63 victory over Western Maryland in a Middle Atlantic Conference intersectional game last night that extended Hopkins' best start in school history to 9-0. It is the longest basketball winning streak in Blue Jays history.
Gangemi, a 6-foot-3 senior from Rochester, N.Y., finished with 25 points. His career total, 1,113, puts him in third place on Hopkins' all-time list, behind Bill Jews (1,234 in the early 1970s) and leader Andy Enfield, who scored the last of his 2,025 points last winter.
Coach Bill Nelson, who has directed Hopkins to two straight NCAA Division III tournament appearances, lists Gangemi among the reasons for the team's spotless start.
"We have 10 talented sophomores to go with Gangemi," Nelson said. "We have more balance than we've ever had. If someone has a rough night, another guy picks him up. After Gangemi scored 28 against Carnegie-Mellon Saturday, [Luke] Busby had [a career-high] 27 against Case Western Reserve Monday."
Nelson also salutes his bench, featuring Danny Knee, Mike Shatzel, Brian Markey and Mark West, and the fact Hopkins had six home dates in its first eight games.
Hopkins leaped to a 58-34 halftime lead that featured 72 percent shooting from the field, including 10 of 14 three-pointers. Gangemi's 20 points at the half were built mainly with 5-for-5 from three-point land.
In the second half, Nelson substituted liberally after seven minutes.
"The key was giving up the ball and hitting the open man," Nelson said. "They're willing to bypass a good shot and find someone with an even better shot."