Goucher, Salisbury: close rivals again

ON COLLEGES

February 09, 1997|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Not much has separated the Goucher College and Salisbury State men's basketball teams this season -- in the Capital Athletic Conference standings, the Middle-Atlantic Region poll and head-to-head competition. That's what makes Wednesday night's rematch between the Division III rivals at Goucher so intriguing.

Goucher is off to its best start at 16-4 overall, 10-0 in the conference after beating Gallaudet last night, 55-40. The Gophers are ranked sixth in the region this week, one spot ahead of Salisbury.

The Sea Gulls, who ended Goucher's two-year run as conference champion last winter and earned a bid to the NCAA tournament, are 15-4 overall and 8-2 in the conference after falling to York yesterday, 119-108. Their other CAC loss came at home last month to the Gophers, 77-70. They had won five straight before yesterday; Goucher has run off eight in a row.

Sophomore forward Tavar Witherspoon, a graduate of Calvert Hall, leads the Gophers in scoring at 15.7 points a game, $H followed by senior center Predrag Durkovic (14.1) and sophomore guard Bakari Ward (13.4) of Severna Park, who comes off the bench. Salisbury has similar offensive balance, with five players averaging between 13.0 and 16.2 points, including reserve guards George Robinson (16.2) and Shawn Johnson (15.2).

Senior guard John DeRichie (15.8 ppg) is 27 points shy of 1,000 for his career, and his 231 three-pointers are 20 away from the Salisbury record. He recently passed Dameon Ross (222), a 1994 graduate who was killed in an automobile accident last Sunday night near his Mitchellville home in Prince George's County.

Ross was Salisbury's third all-time leading scorer with 1,994 points in three seasons after transferring from Old Dominion. Funeral services will take place tomorrow at noon at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Landover.

In honor of Mullis

The St. Mary's men's basketball team built a 25-point halftime lead against Villa Julie Monday night en route to a 99-85 victory at Cardinal Gibbons. Proceeds from the game went to the American Cancer Society in memory of former Crusaders coach Ray Mullis, who lost his battle with the disease three years ago.

Brett Adams, Villa Julie's coach and athletic director, said the third annual event raised more than $500. "We are committed to doing this every year," he said.

St. Mary's coach Bob Flynn played for Mullis at Gibbons in the mid-1970s. "I was the third-string center, and we didn't have a second string," he said. "I was the last guy to make the team, but he kept me because I dove on the floor for loose balls and played hard. One of the reasons I admired him so much was he treated me the same as he treated the best players on the team. I'm very proud that I'm the only player he ever coached who became a head college basketball coach."

Flynn visited Mullis in the hospital during his first season at St. Mary's, when the team was struggling. Mullis grabbed a pencil and paper and wrote down some keys to dealing with adversity as a coach.

"Here he was, on his death bed, and he's thinking of me and St. Mary's," Flynn said. "I still have that piece of paper."

Proceeds from St. Mary's home game against Catholic University Tuesday also will go to the American Cancer Society as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer program. The women's game is at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8.

Loyola's O'Koren in swim

Loyola College senior Pam O'Koren won the 400- and !B 800-meter freestyles against Towson State last week, setting a school record in the 800 with a time of 9: 54.62. Another record was set by the 400 freestyle relay team of freshmen Christine Gahagan and Jen Wood and seniors Amy Cole and Heather Langenberg, which finished in 4: 10.75.

Junior Mark Gallagher was a dual winner in the men's competition, claiming the 50 freestyle and breaking the school record in the 200 backstroke at 2: 14.34. Freshman Vin Massey set a record in the 200 freestyle at 1: 59.12.

Miscellaneous

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