Hopkins puts stop on Goucher, Ward, 72-59 Gophers' top scorer held under double figures for first time since '96-97

November 25, 1998|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

The Johns Hopkins men's basketball team made a tough job look easy while beating Goucher, 72-59, at the Newton H. White Center last night.

In order to win, the Blue Jays (3-0) needed to stop Goucher's Bakari Ward (Arundel), who averaged 21.0 points a game last season and had scored 58 points in this season's opening two games.

But Hopkins' Jake Stroman hounded Ward into 4-of-13 shooting for nine points, less than double-figure scoring for the first time since the 1996-97 season, a streak of 29 games.

"They really got physical with him, and we just couldn't get him going," Goucher coach Leonard Trevino said.

Otherwise, Hopkins held Goucher (2-1) to 30 percent shooting overall and outrebounded it, 49-30, while holding the Gophers to their lowest scoring total since a 64-59 loss to Christopher Newport on Dec. 12, 1997.

In last season's game at Goucher, it was the Gophers who came out on top, stealing a 72-68 overtime victory.

In what looked like anything but a classic, the Blue Jays and the Gophers both started cold, but Hopkins took control and a 32-17 halftime lead, thanks to its rebounding.

Though Hopkins shot 35.5 percent in the first half, it outrebounded Goucher, 30-15, an advantage that was handy in taking an early 9-2 lead on a lay-in by Joel Wertman with 14: 26 left.

"We didn't shoot the ball well and they didn't either," Hopkins coach Bill Nelson said. "Getting 30 rebounds and not giving the ball up was a big part of that 15-point lead."

Goucher inched back slowly, and came within two points after a drive by Mike Doyle made the score 14-12 at the 8: 33 mark.

But the Gophers, who had fallen into trouble with five turnovers in the first five minutes, started turning the ball over again.

The result was 10 unanswered points from Johns Hopkins. Wertman, who had seven first-half points, capped the rally with a basket that extended the lead to 24-12 with 5: 34 left.

Trevino -- whose team finished with 20 turnovers -- said the Gophers' struggles came from their lack of vigor in responding to the physical play of Hopkins.

"They got really physical on us and we backed down," Trevino said. "We needed to be able to play through that."

Pub Date: 11/25/98

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