Conference basketball championship preview

MIAA A

No. 2 Mount St. Joseph (24-5) vs. No. 5 John Carroll (35-6)

  • Kameron Williams and No. 2 Mount St. Joseph face Jarred Jones and John Carroll for the MIAA A Conference championship Sunday at UMBC.
Kameron Williams and No. 2 Mount St. Joseph face Jarred Jones…
February 18, 2012|By Glenn Graham | The Baltimore Sun

MIAA A Conference championship

No. 2 Mount St. Joseph (24-5) vs. No. 5 John Carroll (35-6)

When: Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

Where: RAC Arena, UMBC

Coaches: Pat Clatchey, Mount St. Joseph; Tony Martin, John Carroll

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Mount St. Joseph: Kameron Williams, Jr., G; Phil Booth, So., G; Lavon Long, Jr., F; Phil Lawrence, Sr., F.

John Carroll: Jarred Jones, Sr., F; Rodney Elliott, Jr., G; Kamau Stokes, So., G; Mike Owona, Jr., C.

KEYS TO VICTORY

Top-seeded Mount St. Joseph took both regular-season games against the defending champion Patriots, but a total of only five points separated the teams.

In the last meeting on Feb. 10, the Gaels overcame a nine-point deficit and made all eight of their free throws in overtime to claim a 49-46 win. Williams and Booth combined for 34 points in that game, and that backcourt pair was again big in the team's comfortable 62-48 semifinal win against Glenelg Country on Friday night, totaling 37 points.

John Carroll had a much bigger test Friday but advanced with a 52-47 win over St. Frances, the seventh straight time the Patriots defeated the Panthers in the past two years. Freshman Justin Jenifer led the way with 18 points, and the Patriots limited St. Frances to just 29 percent shooting from the field.

In Sunday's championship, expect another tightly contested, low-scoring game. The Patriots will need to neutralize Williams and Booth and get strong contributions from Jones and Owona to win the frontcourt battle. The Gaels consistently find poise in the most important minutes of games by doing the little things right. Rebounding, taking care of the basketball and free throws will likely be a factor once again down the stretch.

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