No. 1 Towson Catholic escapes St. Joe, 65-57

Jenifer scores 30

Gaels stumble at free-throw line

Boys basketball

January 19, 2000|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

After dominating the first half with 18 of his game-high 30 points, Keith Jenifer got some help in the second half, especially down the stretch as top-ranked Towson Catholic escaped Irvington last night with a 65-57 victory over No. 11 Mount St. Joseph.

Jenifer, a first-team All-Metro guard as a junior last year, also posted six rebounds, three steals, four assists and a blocked shot. His pair of free throws with 19 seconds remaining gave the Owls a 61-57 lead and the Gaels did not score again.

The victory kept the Owls (16-4) undefeated in the Baltimore Catholic League (4-0) and extended their winning streak to 14 straight.

Jenifer scorched the nets in the first half by landing seven of 11 field-goal attempts, but the Owls found themselves trailing the Gaels by 31-26 at the break.

Six-foot-eight Kevin Mickens (14 points, seven rebounds, two steals) scored nine points and Marcus Johnson (six rebounds, two assists) added seven of his 10 points to pace St. Joe's balanced attack in the first half.

St. Joe (13-5, 2-3) continued to spread it around in the third period to take a 45-38 lead into the last eight minutes, but would get outscored 27-12 in the final period.

On a night when the Gaels shot 43 percent (20-for-46, five threes) from the field, their free-throw shooting deserted them in the second half. The Gaels sank only eight of 17 to finish 12-for-24.

"It came down to the foul line and we didn't convert," said Gaels coach Pat Clatchey.

"And we didn't secure the defensive boards and those things add up. They have a lot of talent and you just can't give them those kinds of opportunities."

Visiting Towson Catholic shot 48 percent (24-for-50) from the field and was 12-for-18 from the line including 8-for-12 in the last quarter.

"This team has been finding ways to get it done all year," said Owls coach Mike Daniel.

After being limited to four points in the third period, Jenifer answered with eight in the last quarter. Meanwhile, Darnell Hopkins (11 points), Jason Osborne (13 points), Aaron Early and Carmelo Anthony combined for another 19 points in the final period.

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