Feb. 18, 2012
CHESTERTOWN, MD - Freshman George Bugarinovic scored 12 of his 18 points in the second half to lead Johns Hopkins to a 71-67 win over host Washington College in what turned out to be a prelude of the Centennial Conference Tournament First Round game. The Blue Jays earn their fifth win in the last six outings to improve to 15-10 overall and finish in the conference slate at 11-7. The Shoremen meanwhile, lose their sixth straight to fall to 13-12 on the season and finish out the conference at 9-9.
Trailing by five just 26 seconds into the second half after Chris Olsen put back his own miss, the Blue Jays put together a 20-8 spurt that gave them a seven-point advantage with 10:33 to play. Sophomore Daniel Corbett got things going as he hit a jumper and following a pair of free throws from senior Tim McCarty, hit a pair himself from the line to make it a one-point game. Sophomore Connor McIntyre then hit a bucket in the paint and Hopkins had a 36-35 lead.
The lead see-sawed back-and-forth over the course of the next six minutes as neither team could take more than a two-point lead. In a 60-second span Bugarinovic converted two free throws, Corbett hit a jumper in the paint and freshman Jimmy Hammer drained a three-pointer to put Hopkins on top 48-41. Washington College answered with a John Weston jumper and consecutive three-pointers from Breslin and Tony Hawkins to cut the lead back to one at 8:45.
Hopkins pushed its lead back to five with a Bugarinovic bucket and two free throws from McCarty. The teams traded buckets over the next two-and-a-half minutes before a pull up jumper from Breslin and a fast-break layup from Kevin Cunningham made it a one-point game at 60-59 with 3:02 on the clock. Bugarinovic sandwiched baskets around a Breslin triple and Hopkins' lead was two at the 1:31 mark.
Breslin went to the line on consecutive Shoremen possessions, going 3-of-4 from the line with a Bugarinovic layup packed in between and the lead was down to one with 28 seconds to play. Corbett then went 3-of-4 from the line in back-to-back possessions and the Blue Jays led 69-65 with 15 seconds on the clock. Breslin kept the Shoremen alive with two more free throws after getting fouled on a drive down the lane. But Hammer would seal it with a pair of free throws just two seconds later as Hopkins held on for the win.
It appeared to be all Washington College in the opening minutes of the half as the Shoremen, bolstered by a pregame ceremony honoring the team's nine seniors, pushed out to a 15-6 lead. Hopkins got back into it with a 7-2 burst, capped by a three-pointer from junior Mike Rhoads to cut the deficit to four at 17-13. Max Finch pushed the lead back to six with a basket in the paint at 9:39. Junior Adam Spengler kicked off an 11-2 run by the Blue Jays with two free throws and then back-to-back buckets from Rhoads and McIntyre to tie it up at 19 apiece. Sophomore Aleksandar Nikolic put punctuation on the run with a jumper off an Alex Pandrangi feed to stake Hopkins to a 24-22 advantage.
Mark DeBoy responded with a basket from downtown to swing the lead back to Washington College, 25-24 with 4:17 on the clock. McCarty put back a Spengler miss and Bugarinovic drained two free throws to put Hopkins on top 28-25 two-and-a-half minutes later. But the Shoremen would have the final say in the closing minute of the half. Sal Schittino drained a three-pointer to pull the home team even and then Max Finch hit from downtown at the buzzer after Rhoads was called for traveling with 4.7 ticks on the clock.
Bugarinovic finished with his fourth double-double of the season as he punched up 18 points and grabbed a game and career-high 13 rebounds, including eight offensive boards. McCarty just missed on a double-double, finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds while also swiping two steals. Corbett chipped in 11 points and dished out four assists, while Hammer finished with 10 points as well. Spengler had four dimes and two steals with four rebounds and McIntyre had three blocks on the night and now has a team-best 30 on the season.
Breslin poured in a game-high 21 points, with 17 of those coming in the second half. He also had two assists and two steals for the Shoremen. Finch was the only other player in double figures for Washington College as he finished with 10 and a team-high five rebounds. Hopkins dominated on the boards, corralling 50 rebounds, including 20 on offensive glass. The 20 offensive boards are the most by the Blue Jays since they had 20 against Stevenson on November 20, 2009.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak at the Cain Athletic Center as Hopkins wins in Chestertown for the first time since 2008. It also sets up a rematch in just four days in the first round of the Centennial Conference Tournament. Hopkins as the fourth seed will host the game on Wednesday, February 22 with the time tentatively set for 7:00 pm.