Unbeaten Johns Hopkins was ripe for an upset last night.
Jay Gangemi, averaging a team-high 18.4 points, didn't score in the first half and wound up with only 10 in the game. The problems mounted for Gangemi when he turned his ankle running down court with 7:55 left in the first half.
But fortunately for the Blue Jays, Ursinus College didn't take advantage of the situation.
That enabled Johns Hopkins (11-0) to walk away with a 73-62 victory in a Middle Atlantic Conference-Southeast game at Hopkins.
With Gangemi struggling the entire game, the Blue Jays turned to sophomore forward Frank Grzywacz for 17 points and 11 rebounds and sophomore swing man Luke Busby for 15 points.
It was enough to help pull Hopkins through and make the Blue Jays look like a legitimate threat to make a lot of waves in NCAA Division III competition this season.
If Hopkins could win last night without much help from Gangemi, it is certainly more than a one-man team.
Other than the turned ankle, which did not appear to bother Gangemi much in the second half, Hopkins coach Bill Nelson had no explanation for the subpar performance by his scoring star.
"It seemed like he couldn't push off at times," said Nelson. "I don't know of any other reason he didn't play well. He's been carrying us since Christmas, so I can't complain much about one bad night."
Nelson said his entire team seemed to be hindered by Ursinus' decision to slow the ball.
"We're used to pushing the ball upcourt, and Ursinus wouldn't let us do that," said Nelson. "We came out a little flat and never really got going."
Hopkins did shoot 50 percent from the field but was only 18 of 29 from the line.
Ursinus shot only 37.7 percent from the field, with Mark Cataldi leading the way with 17 points.
Hopkins led by as many as 18 points (54-36 with 9:08 left in the second half) but Ursinus cut the lead down the stretch with some good free-throw shooting and a fullcourt press.