Van Dorpe awakens, helps Mount rip Loyola Big man's 2nd-half rally sets pace for 74-60 victory

December 08, 1996|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Gerben Van Dorpe said he felt as though he had let his teammates down in the first half of yesterday's game at Loyola College, so who was better to provide a lift than the junior center?

Van Dorpe made nine of 11 shots in the second half and ended up with a career-high 24 points to lead Mount St. Mary's past the Greyhounds, 74-60, at Reitz Arena in the state's oldest college basketball rivalry.

Van Dorpe was 1-for-7 before halftime, his only points coming on a shot from beyond the arc with less than four minutes remaining.

"I was taking myself out of it mentally," said Van Dorpe, a 6-11 player from Erembodegem, Belgium. "They fouled me two or three times, and I would look at the referees. I just had to keep taking it up strong again and again and again. I decided I wasn't going to worry about anything. Just go after it and try to win the game."

By doing so, he helped deny Loyola (2-2) its 1,000th victory in the program's 85-year history.

Van Dorpe opened the second half by scoring underneath to extend the Mountaineers' lead to 34-30. He got inside twice more for baskets during an 8-2 run, then popped out and hit a three-pointer.

After a steal and layup by senior forward Anthony Smith with 5: 06 left had reduced the Mount's lead to 56-51, Van Dorpe gathered a pass from freshman point guard Gregory Harris and buried a medium-range jumper. He also scored six of his team's last seven points, and finished with five blocks.

"He's coming along," said Mount coach Jim Phelan. "What we tried to add to him was a little bit of an inside game. We always knew he could play down there. He's got to be able to hit those short turnaround jump shots and little turnaround hook shots. He makes those very well."

The Greyhounds, who trail the series, 88-63, dating to 1909, were behind throughout yesterday's game. But there were six ties in the first half, the last coming with 2: 40 left when Mike Powell hit a three-pointer from the corner.

That was Powell's first basket, and he made only one more to finish with five points. The junior guard didn't start because he missed school and practice Friday, telling coach Brian Ellerbe he had bronchitis. Powell also has been playing with a sprained left ankle.

"When you don't practice the day before and you're sick in bed the whole day, it's pretty hard to just throw a guy on the floor," Ellerbe said. "If Mike wasn't sick, he'd still only be 70 percent because he's out of shape. He's like 20 pounds overweight."

When asked if Powell would start Tuesday's game at Towson State, Ellerbe said, "Mike Powell can control his own destiny. He just has to make the decision whether he's going to do it or not. The wake-up call, what it's going to be, I have no idea. There's only so many things I can do under NCAA rules, the rules of the college, just being a good person. It boils down to the individual."

Powell wasn't available for comment.

Senior forward Anthony Smith led the Greyhounds with 21 points on 9-for-13 shooting. Freshman Darren Kelly added 12 points, but made only four of 21 attempts.

Senior guard Silas Cheung had 17 points for the Mount, (3-1), which shot 61.5 percent in the second half and 50.8 percent for the game. Harris contributed nine points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

Phelan said he thought some of Loyola's offensive problems -- the Greyhounds shot 33.8 percent and had back-to-back 35-second violations -- stemmed from the Mount's changing defenses. Ellerbe disagreed.

"When we execute, we score. our execution was C-minus at best. we get on a real ego trip with our natural ability sometimes and we don't concentrate on our fundamentals," he said. "When we do that, we're not as good a basketball team."

Pub Date: 12/08/96

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