Catholic's inside game ousts Jays Lax interior defense stops Hopkins in Div. III, 67-62

March 08, 1998|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON -- Johns Hopkins had to stop Catholic' three-point shooting if it wanted to advance to the sectional semifinals of the NCAA Division III tournament.

Though the task was accomplished, Hopkins failed in its main mission. Catholic -- sixth in the country in three-point field-goal percentage -- made four of 18 from long range last night but hurt Hopkins inside, earning a 67-62 victory in the second round of the Mid-Atlantic Sectional.

Forgotten among Catholic's outside shooters was Jason Alexander, who was averaging 5.7 points per game. He was the hero last night, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as the Cardinals (25-3) won their first tournament game in five years.

"I thought the key to the end of the game was Alexander," Hopkins coach Bill Nelson said. "Even with a lot of fouls, he scored at will inside."

Alexander scored 11 of his points in a six-minute span in the second half in which Catholic took control of the game.

With Catholic up 43-41, Alexander scored a layup and was fouled by Greg Roehrig, and made the free throw to make the score 46-41 with 8: 34 remaining. Alexander made up for a first half in which he missed three of his four shots, all inside the paint.

Hopkins tied the game at 59 on a three-pointer by Roehrig with 2: 41 left, but Catholic answered with an inside basket by Alexander with 2: 03 left.

Hopkins committed a pair of turnovers in the final minutes, as Catholic reserve Sean Tuohey hit four free throws in the last minute to close the game.

At first, it seemed Hopkins (21-7) would run away, jumping to a 9-2 lead with 16: 51 left in the first half after three-pointers by Kamau Coar, Jake Stroman and Matthew Geschke.

However, Catholic used a zone defense to stymie the Blue Jays, holding them scoreless for eight minutes while taking a 16-11 lead on Shawn Kane's basket with 6: 50 left in the first half.

The rest of the first half was even, with Catholic taking a 26-25 halftime lead on Dan Harrington's basket at the buzzer.

Roehrig, who finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, hit a 15-footer with 15: 48 left in the game to give Hopkins a 35-33 lead. The Hopkins starter had gone 3-for-8 from the field in the first half.

Coar followed with a layup, giving Hopkins its largest lead of the half, 37-33, with 13: 46 remaining.

With Catholic down 41-37, Jim McNiff, the Cardinals' leading scorer, tied the game with 10: 55 left when he hit a three-pointer as he was fouled by Pablo Koropecky and made the free throw to complete the four-point play.

Coar led Hopkins with 15 points, and Geschke scored 12. Pat Maloney led Catholic with 18.

JOHNS HOPKINS -- Coar 5-11 1-3 15, Geschke 4-7 0-0 12, Stroman 3-4 3-3 9, Ellis 0-4 3-4 3, Roehrig 5-12 2-2 13, Olson 0-2 0-0 0, Koropecky 0-2 0-0 0, Vanin 2-2 0-0 3, Satalin 2-6 0-0 5, Peoples 0-0 0-1 0, Wertman 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-51 9-13 62.

CATHOLIC -- Harrington 3-7 0-0 6, Maloney 7-14 2-3 18, Kane 2-5 3-4 7, Alexander 7-12 1-1 15, Gallagher 1-5 0-0 2, Lepeonka 1-2 0-0 2, Judge 2-3 0-0 5, Tuohey 1-9 4-4 6, Zeisler 1-1 0-0 2, McNiff 1-6 1-1 4. Totals 26-64 11-13 67.

Halftime--Catholic, 26-25. Rebounds--JHU 41 (G.Roehrig 11); C 31 (Alexander 10). Assists--JHU 9 (Stroman 4); C 9 (Kane 4). A--1,375.

Pub Date: 3/08/98

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