No. 9 IND overcomes rustiness to stop Pats Johnson sparks Indians to win over John Carroll

January 27, 1996|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Thanks to the blizzard and rescheduled exams, No. 9 IND had not played a game in three weeks. It certainly showed in yesterday's Catholic League meeting with John Carroll.

Through the first two thirds of the game, the Indians looked rusty on offense, slow on defense and overwhelmed on the boards. But Robin Johnson made everyone forget about that late in the third quarter.

Johnson hit three straight baskets and then fed Kelly Pryce for a three-pointer to spark the host Indians to a 56-45 victory.

"We couldn't stop Robin," said Patriots point guard Meaghan Giorno. "She got hot and we got cold. When she's on, their whole team is. She's definitely the key to their offense."

Johnson finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Most of that came in the second half.

In the last 11 minutes of the game, the senior point guard scored 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting and had three assists. Her assist on Pryce's three-pointer closed the third quarter with a 40-34 Indians lead -- their biggest since 5-0.

Patriots coach Kathleen Shannon tried to counter the blitz by getting the ball to 6-foot forward Britney Whitehurst while Johnson was guarding her.

"We were hoping Britney could draw some fouls and make Robin little more cautious," said Shannon. "We were hoping to get Robin to pick up her fifth foul, but she played smart defensively and stayed in the ballgame."

The Indians (8-4 overall, 3-2 league) hit just 11 of 36 shots through the first 20 minutes and trailed by as many as six points. The rest of the way, they hit 12 of 19 and pushed their lead to as many as 14 points. With 3 1/2 minutes to go in the game, the Indians had turned a 29-23 deficit into a 53-39 lead.

Johnson was not the Indians' only weapon. Kim Pryce had 14 points and seven rebounds while Kelly Pryce added 11 points and five assists. Natalie Smith turned in some strong minutes with four points and six rebounds.

The Patriots (9-6, 3-3) came to IND looking for their second upset in as many days after knocking off No. 10 Mercy, 51-39, Thursday. Whitehurst (11 points, 11 rebounds) and 5-10 Jennifer Westervelt (15 points, seven rebounds) gave the Indians all kinds of trouble inside early on.

But midway through the third quarter, the Patriots started playing better defense.

"In the third quarter, we made a couple quick shots," said Kelly Pryce. "That got the momentum going and we started running our fast break. When we run our fast break, that helps us get our confidence going."

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