Lebanon Valley halts Hopkins' streak

February 26, 1993|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Contributing Writer

Mike Rhoades and John Harper sparked a second-half Lebanon Valley rally, as the Flying Dutchmen ended Johns Hopkins' 13-game winning streak with a 58-54 victory over the host Blue Jays in a Middle Atlantic Conference South Division semifinal last night.

Lebanon Valley (17-9, tied for fifth in Middle Atlantic Region rankings) advances to the MAC South championship tomorrow at Franklin & Marshall, a 67-52 winner over Widener in the other semifinal last night.

Johns Hopkins (19-6 overall, third in Middle Atlantic rankings) still has a chance for an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III tournament. The field will be announced on Sunday. If the Blue Jays make it, it would be their fourth straight bid.

L The Blue Jays' last loss had come on Jan. 9 to Emory, 78-77.

Rhoades scored 12 of his 21 points in the second half, including hitting four free throws in the final 25.1 seconds.

Harper scored 10 of his 12 in the second half. He scored seven straight at one point, the final ones coming on a three-pointer that gave the Flying Dutchmen the lead for good at 52-50 with 2:52 left.

"As long as we didn't lose our composure and kept running our [plays], I felt we could win," said Lebanon Valley coach Pat Flannery, whose team scored 12 of the final 17 points. "We were successful."

Johns Hopkins also was hurt by the loss of forward Luke Busby (21 points) and center Frank Grzywacz (nine points) for about two minutes with about five minutes left. Both picked up their fourth fouls a few seconds apart, and coach Bill Nelson pulled them.

"In that stretch they were out, we tried to get the ball into the post," said Nelson. "They stole the ball."

The Flying Dutchmen had led 25-23 at halftime, but Johns Hopkins hit five of its first eight from the field to take a 36-29 lead.

Johns Hopkins, however, missed 15 of its final 18 shots in the last 13 minutes of the game. The Blue Jays made only 35 percent (17 of 48) overall.

Johns Hopkins stayed close until the final moments, but then the Blue Jays missed one chance to take the lead and another opportunity to tie.

Jason Say and Rhoades wrapped things up for Lebanon Valley. Say made two free throws with 1:50 left to give the Flying Dutchmen a 54-50 lead.

pTC Rhoades made two free throws with 25.1 seconds left to stretch the lead to six and added two more for the Flying Dutchmen's final points.

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