Strong Second Half Leads Johns Hopkins Past Men's Basketball, 67-61
BALTIMORE - Homestanding Johns Hopkins rallied from a halftime deficit to knock off the Swarthmore College men's basketball team (5-16, 4-10) by a score of 67-61 on Saturday afternoon in the annual Wall-O'Mahony Game.
Senior Will Gates led all scorers with 18 points and was named co-MVP of the Wall-O'Mahony Game along with the Blue Jays' George Bugarinovic. The game is played in honor of Glen Wall and Matt O'Mahony, Hopkins basketball alums who both died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.
Junior Joe Keedy finished with 16 points - 13 of which came in the second half - while Jay Kober added 14 to round out the Garnet's double-digit scorers. The trio of Gates, Keedy and Kober combined for 48 of Swarthmore's 61 points.
Jimmy Hammer was high-scorer for the Blue Jays (14-7, 10-4) with 17 points, followed by Bugarinovic (14 points).
The first half belonged to the Garnet. A one-possession game for the opening 10 minutes, Swarthmore jumped ahead thanks to a 10-2 run mid-way through the first half. A second-consecutive bucket from freshman Sean Thaxter put Swarthmore ahead 20-14 with just over seven minutes to play in the half.
Swarthmore extended its lead to seven points at just under the five-minute mark, before Hopkins made a late rally. The Jays scored 10 points in the final five minutes of the half, capped off by a three-pointer by Mike Rhoads with 30 seconds to play. Despite the late Blue Jays' run, Swarthmore maintained a 29-28 lead at the break.
The Garnet held the lead early in the second half, but the momentum slowly began to to swing in Hopkins' favor. Behind five quick points from Keedy, Swarthmore led 37-35 with 15:50 to play in the game. On the ensuing possession, Hammer drilled a three-pointer for the Blue Jays, giving Hopkins the lead at 38-37 - a lead it would not relinquish for the remainder of the game.
Hammer's triple sparked a 13-0 Blue Jays' run, extending the Hopkins lead to 48-37 with just under 12 minutes to go.
From that point on, Swarthmore fought hard to mount a rally, but Hopkins had an answer each time. A jumper from freshman Ethan Lee cut the lead to 59-53 with 2:54 to play, but Hopkins answered with a lay-up on the other end of the floor. In the final minute, a pair of Keedy free throws again cut the lead to six points (62-56), but Hopkins was able to close out the game at the foul line.
Keedy pulled down a game-high nine rebounds, finishing just one rebound shy of a double-double. Gates corralled eight boards. Junior Jordan Federer tied a season-high with seven assists.
With his 18 points, Gates upped his career total to 1,620, just 51 shy of Matt Gustafson's program record (1,671).
Swarthmore returns to action on Wednesday at Washington College. Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m.