Last night's Centennial Conference semifinal at the Newton H. White Jr. Athletic Center was a game of runs, and in the end, Johns Hopkins ran out of time.
After being held scoreless for the last nine minutes of the first half, visiting Swarthmore turned the tide on the Blue Jays and walked away with a 53-42 victory.
The win puts the Garnet Tide in Saturday's conference final, where it will face Dickinson, which advanced by defeating Washington College, 78-68, in last night's other semifinal.
The loss, Hopkins' third in its last four games, dropped the Blue Jays to 17-8, and sharply decreased their chances of getting an NCAA tournament bid.
"[Swarthmore] knew when they heard that Dickinson had upset Washington that if they won the game they were going to get a home game and they really picked up their play in the second half," said Hopkins coach Bill Nelson, whose team entered the game ranked sixth in the Mid-Atlantic region. "They played great in the second half and we had trouble putting the ball in the basket, which has happened to us this year."
The Blue Jays, who won the Western Division title with last week's 52-49 win over Dickinson, found themselves trailing 17-12 with 9: 15 left in the first half. Hopkins responded by going on a 13-0 run to take a 25-17 lead at the half.
Swarthmore (16-10), which had defeated Hopkins, 65-59, didn't waste any time making a run at the Blue Jays in the second half. The Tide went on an 11-0 run to start the period and followed that with a 9-4 run that gave the visitors a 37-29 lead with 5: 12 remaining.
Hopkins senior Matt Gorman, the Centennial Conference's Player of the Year, was held to just four points before fouling out with just over a minute left.
Junior forward Greg Roehrig led the Blue Jays with 12 points, and Wes Unseld, one of only three seniors on Hopkins' roster, finished with 10.
Forward Ben Schall led the Garnet Tide with 16 points, and teammates Tim Schofield and Colin Convey chipped in with 10 apiece.
"They really keyed on me. Everywhere I went there was a lot of guys," said Gorman, who came into the game averaging 15.7 points and 10.8 rebounds. "I wish I could have done more. It just wasn't my night."
Pub Date: 2/27/97