Ward rebounds to boost Goucher

His strong second half stops Catholic, gains NCAA berth

February 28, 1999|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Goucher tri-captain Bakari Ward's game figured to improve in the second half of last night's Capital Athletic Conference tournament final against visiting Catholic University.

Maybe the Gophers' leading scorer, three-point shooter and best ballhandler has had a worst first half than on this occasion, but it's doubtful.

All was forgiven in the concluding 20 minutes, however, as Goucher defeated the Cardinals, 77-73, on the strength of Ward's four three-pointers and constant ballhawking that produced a couple of easy steals and solo baskets.

The victory, Goucher's 23rd in 27 starts, boosted it into the NCAA Division III tournament, which gets under way Thursday.

Catholic (21-6) is likely to get an at-large bid to the non-scholarship version of the lowercase big dance.

Goucher appeared as if it might have things easy when Ward's first heist boosted it into a 15-point lead, 52-37, after eight minutes of the second half.

But, inexplicably, the Gophers played like a team trailing, fouling and hoisting up shots with 20 seconds remaining on the shot clock, and this ushered Catholic back into the game.

The Cardinals got to within three points at 59-56 with four minutes remaining before Ward restored order with his threes, and Josh Stolz made five big points inside when the Gophers were wobbling.

Vince Williams (14 points) also helped restore order for the Gophers.

"The guy we always go to when things get a little wild, like they did, is Vince Williams," said Goucher coach Leonard Trevino. "Besides giving us a big boost in the first half [12 points], Vince calmed us down and got us back on our game when they closed it in the second half. He's been doing that for three years for us."

Ward finished with a game-high 21 points, hitting five of seven shots from afar. He also had four assists, three steals and five rebounds.

The Gophers were able to struggle to a 35-27 lead at halftime through the simple expedient of calming down first. Both teams were so high early they were barely able to achieve double figures in the first 10 minutes.

From an 11-11 tie, however, Williams hit two foul shots, a close-in basket and a three to push Goucher out to an 18-13 advantage.

CATHOLIC -- Harrington 3-12 7-8 14, Maloney 2-5 2-2 7, Tuohey 4-11 2-2 11, Gallagher 1-3 1-4 3, Lepeonka 4-6 2-5 10, Rice 0-0 2-2 2, Nolan 1-1 0-0 2, Judge 3-5 2-2 9, Hartman 1-1 0-0 2, Kane 3-11 3-4 10, McNiff 0-1 1-2 1, Loughlin 0-1 0-0 0, Ku.Zeisler 0-2 0-0 0, Kr.Zeisler 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 22-59 24-33 73.

GOUCHER -- Burke 0-1 0-0 0, Ward 7-12 2-2 21, Stolz 3-5 2-4 8, Williams 4-11 5-6 14, Doyle 2-5 4-8 9, Schuler 0-4 0-0 0, Lee 3-8 6-7 12, Sykes 0-4 0-0 0, Threatt 3-8 3-7 9, LoCascio 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 24-60 22-34 77.

Halftime--Goucher, 35-27. 3-point goals--C 5-15 (Maloney 1-2, Judge 1-2, Harrington 1-3, Tuohey 1-3, Kane 1-5); G 7-14 (Ward 5-7, Williams 1-2, Doyle 1-3, Lee 0-1, Schuler 0-1). Rebounds--C 44 (Tuohey 7); G 41 (Lee 7). Assists--C 11 (Harrington 6); G 13 (Ward 4). Fouled out--Burke. Total fouls--C 24, G 27. A--635.

Pub Date: 2/28/99

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