No. 4 St. Frances stops Gibbons

January 09, 1995|By Bob Clark | Bob Clark,Contributing Writer

St. Frances coach William Wells had memories of last season flashing through his mind as No. 10 Cardinal Gibbons was in the midst of a heated fourth-quarter rally at the University of Baltimore yesterday.

But this time the No. 4 Panthers survived the Crusaders' comeback for a 60-54 Catholic League victory, the second win over a top-ten opponent for St. Frances (12-1 overall, 2-0 in the Catholic League) in three days.

With St. Frances ahead 41-25 after three quarters, it appeared the Panthers had things in hand, having limited Gibbons to 10-for-32 shooting at that point. But the Crusaders, who had rallied from nine points down with less than two minutes to play to win last season's Catholic League Tournament championship game against the Panthers, were not through on this afternoon. And the fact that St. Frances was trying to protect that lead without guard Keon Chavez was not forgotten by Wells.

"Last year Keon fouled out and then Gibbons made that great comeback and this time he got injured in the third quarter and went to the hospital," said Wells.

Without Chavez, who injured his teeth on a play in which he was called for a charge, the Panthers saw that 16-point lead sliced to just four points, 49-45 with 2:02 to play.

"I thought we had played great defense throughout the game," said Wells. "But maybe we got a little tired in the fourth quarter. Without Keon I couldn't sub the way I wanted to."

Gibbons (12-3, 1-1) got big fourth quarters from Josh Davalli and Vernon Collins, who each finished with 16 points. But it was the solid free-throw shooting by the Panthers that staved off this rally.

Sophomore center Mark Karcher, who led all scorers with 19 points, hit four straight from the foul line to open a 53-45 Panthers lead with 1:11 remaining and Darryle Dantzler added a pair of baskets in the final minute to help preserve the win.

Gibbons coach Bryan Moorhouse had nothing but praise for his young team. "It was just a matter that we missed a lot of easy shots early in this game, and this is one of the best shooting teams we've ever had."

The Panthers, leading 17-15, pulled away midway through the second quarter with an 8-2 run as Corey Bradford hit a short jumper, Alphonso Jones (15 points) pumped in a 15-footer from the wing, Karcher sank two free throws and Chavez fed Charles Beaufort for a layup to make it 25-17 with just over three minutes left before halftime.

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