Jan. 13, 2011
SWARTHMORE, PA - Johns Hopkins led wire-to-wire in a 67-53 win over host Swarthmore on Thursday night behind 16 points from senior forward John Alberici. The Blue Jays snap a two-game skid to improve to 4-10 overall and 2-5 in Centennial Conference action, while the Garnet fall to 4-10 and 1-6 in the conference. It is the Blue Jays biggest win over the Garnet since a 73-59 win on December 1, 2007.
After a pair of free throws from Will Gates and a Jay Kober layup, Hopkins' lead was down to two at 19-17 with 8:04 to play in the opening half. Junior Danny Gergen then hit a jumper to launch a 10-2 Blue Jay run that saw Hopkins' lead grow to 10. The teams went back-and-forth over the next two minutes and Hopkins led 33-24 with 2:32 on the clock. The Blue Jays got two free throws from freshman Aleksandar Nikolic and a three-pointer from sophomore Mike Rhoads in the final two minutes to take a 38-24 lead into the lockerroom.
Coming out of the break, Alberici hit a bucket in the paint to extend the Blue Jays' lead to 16. But the Garnet answered with a 9-0 run to trim the deficit to seven. Gates scored five of Swarthmore's nine points during the run. Alberici then scored six straight points for Hopkins, while the Blue Jay defense held the Garnet to a single bucket over a three-minute span, to take a 46-35 lead.
A three-pointer from Marc Rogalski cut the deficit to eight with 13:50 to play. Hopkins would not let Swarthmore get any closer. A free throw from Rhoads and an old-fashioned three-point play from Nikolic ignited a 17-4 run and Hopkins led 63-42 with just over eight minutes to play. Nikolic fueled with the run with 11 points, including a pair of three-point plays. Swarthmore put together one more run, closing out the game on an 11-4 run, but the 21-point deficit was too much to overcome.
Alberici led the Blue Jays for the second straight game, scoring 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Nikolic scored a career-high 14 points, going 4-of-7 from the field and 6-of-8 from the line. He also had a pair of blocks and four rebounds. Kober led the Garnet with a game-high 19 points, while Gates put up 14 points. Hopkins won the battle of the boards, 37-26, and shot 51.0 percent from the field while holding Swarthmore to just 36.5 percent. That marks the second straight game that the Blue Jays have shot better than 50.0 percent.
Hopkins returns to action on Saturday, January 15 as the Haverford Fords visit Goldfarb Gym. Tip-off for the Centennial Conference matchup is set for 3:00 pm.