St. Frances reawakens in overtime, tops Gibbons Panthers blow late lead before winning, 84-74

February 05, 1996|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Playing on the road in the Catholic League can be hazardous.

Just ask St. Frances.

The defending league champions were extended into overtime for the second straight game yesterday, this time by No. 8 Gibbons, before earning an 84-74 win.

Alphonso Jones led all scorers with 30 for St. Frances (19-4, 5-1), including six in overtime. Shawn Hampton added 17 points and 15 rebounds. Keith Phoebus and Josh Davalli each scored 19 for Gibbons (17-7, 4-3).

The Panthers, who regained first place, rallied from an eight-point deficit midway through regulation last week against Mount St. Joseph before winning, 65-63, on Mark Karcher's jumper with five seconds left in overtime.

With Karcher struggling to a foul-marred, two-point performance yesterday, St. Frances watched a 15-point lead with five minutes left in regulation evaporate under a tremendous rally by Gibbons, forcing a 69-69 tie and the extra session on a basket by Vernon Collins with 2.5 seconds left.

But Jones, a 5-foot-10 senior point guard, picked up the Panthers in overtime, scoring six points as St. Frances outscored the Crusaders 15-5.

"I pulled the guys together and told them we just blew a 15-point lead on the road, and they weren't going to let us get away," said Jones. "We came out, made a couple of layups and free throws, and played tough defense."

Jones opened the scoring in overtime, making a layup. The Crusaders turned the ball over on consecutive possessions and Ronald Wingate converted a free throw and layup, giving St. Frances a 74-69 advantage.

Davalli hit two free throws for Gibbons' first overtime points, but Hampton followed up his own miss and was fouled. He completed the three-point play for a 77-71 lead with 1:10 remaining.

After a free throw by Jones, Gibbons closed within 78-74 on a three-point play by James Urban (15 points) with 49.1 seconds left. The Panthers broke Gibbons' press for a layup by Wingate, which was followed by three free throws by Jones and one by Charles Beaufort.

The Panthers led 58-43 with over five minutes left in the fourth quarter, but Phoebus and Urban hit back-to-back three-pointers in an 8-0 run, closing the deficit to 58-51. After two free throws by Jones, Gibbons scored the next nine to pull even at 60 with 2:16 left.

St. Frances was up 68-62 with 23.9 seconds left when Phoebus made a three-pointer. The Panthers converted only one of four attempts from the free-throw line, then Davalli was fouled on a three-point attempt with 4.7 seconds left.

Davalli hit the first two free throws, then intentionally missed the third, and Collins came up with the rebound and basket, tying the game at 69 with 2.5 seconds left.

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