Johns Hopkins Advances to NCAA Second Round with 52-39 Win over La Roche
By Ernie Larossa
Associate AD/Director of Athletic Communications
• Score: #12 Johns Hopkins-52, La Roche-39
• Records: JHU (24-4) • LC (21-7)
• Location: Baltimore, MD • Goldfarb Gym
• The Short Story: The 12th-ranked Johns Hopkins men’s basketball team used a 20-10 second-half run to turn a four-point lead into a 14-point advantage that was never less than 10 in the final five minutes of a 52-39 victory over La Roche in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament Friday night.
How it Happened
• The Blue Jays led 29-25 just over six minutes into the second half before back-to-back three pointers in a 30-second span by junior Michael Gardner and senior Kyle Doran quickly turned the four-point lead into a 10-point advantage with 13:18 remaining. A Conner Delaney jumper and a pair of free throws by Delaney pushed the lead to 14 at 39-25 before a Ryan Norkus layup with 10:58 to play ended a scoring drought of 3:23 for the Redhawks.
• La Roche, which entered the game averaging 78.4 points per game, sliced the deficit to six at 39-33 with just over eight minutes remaining on an Ames Bajgora jumper and another Norkus layup that capped an 8-0 run for the Redhawks.
• Gardner answered the Norkus layup 22 seconds later with another three-pointer with just under eight minutes to play and Doran hit a triple from the corner a minute after a Ray Quan Phifer jumper to give the Blue Jays a 47-35 lead with 6:22 to play.
• Johns Hopkins, which entered the game ranked second in the nation in scoring defense at 61.7 ppg, held the Redhawks scoreless from the 7:42 mark when Phifer hit his jumper until Zach Gould hit an 18-footer with 1:43 on the clock. By then the Blue Jays had extended the margin out to 52-35 and the Redhawks closed out the scoring with a pair of late free throws.
• The Blue Jays led from the outset as they jumped to a 5-0 lead on a pair of free throws from Delaney and a three-pointer 30 seconds later by Doran and answered a Phifer layup with another 5-0 spurt that Doran also capped with a triple.
• The Redhawks were within 13-7 after a Norkus free throw, but a jumper by junior Daniel Vila ignited an 8-3 run for the Blue Jays that extended the lead out to 21-10 with just under four minutes remaining in the first half. A Jesse Flannery jumper and a layup by Gardner capped the spree, during which the Blue Jays held the Redhawks scoreless for nearly three minutes at one point.
What it Means
• Johns Hopkins advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where the Blue Jays will face MIT. The Engineers knocked off Brockport State, 81-67, in the first game at Johns Hopkins on Friday night.
• The Blue Jays extended their winning streak to 14 games, the longest for Johns Hopkins since the 2014-15 team won a school-record 17 straight games.
• Johns Hopkins picked up its 24th victory of the season (24-5) – that’s just one shy of the school single-season record of 25 in 2014-15.
• La Roche had its four-game winning streak snapped – the Redhawks had won 16 of 17 entering the NCAAs.
Inside the Box Score
• Doran led the Blue Jays with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Gardner added 10 points and eight rebounds. The eight rebounds for Gardner were just one shy of his career high.
• Gould paced the Redhawks with 12 points, but La Roche hit just 14-of-59 shots from the field (23.7%), including just 2-of-16 (.125) three pointers.
• The 39 points the Blue Jays allowed are the fewest Johns Hopkins has ever allowed in an NCAA Tournament game. The previous low was 47 by FDU-Madison in the first round of the 1998 tournament.
• Johns Hopkins will host MIT in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, March 3. Tipoff in Goldfarb Gymnasium is set for 8 pm.