Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
March 30, 2023

Clutch free throws seal win over Bullets

By KEVIN JOYCE | December 6, 2012

Hopkins escaped last Thursday night with a 66-59 win over home team Gettysburg, as the Blue Jays hit six straight free throws in the final 23 seconds to secure the victory.

With the win, the Blue Jays extended their streak to four games, improving their season mark to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Centennial Conference. Gettysburg slipped to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the conference.

Four Blue Jays finished the day in double digits, all of whom were led by senior Mike Rhoads with 16 points in the winning effort.

For the first eight minutes, neither team could extend much of a lead, with the largest margin being three points. A layup by Christian Bors with 10:41 remaining in the first half sparked a 13-4 tear by the Bullets, eventually giving the host a 28-18 advantage just three minutes later. Hopkins would respond, however, as freshman Niko Kotoulas ignited a Blue Jays comeback with a bucket in the paint, closing out the half on a 12-0 run. Rhoads would net a basket from downtown to give Hopkins the lead going into the locker room, 30-28.

Gettysburg came out on fire in the second half, scoring five straight points to take a three-point lead just a minute into the period. Senior Adam Spengler responded for the Blue Jays with a three-pointer to knot the game up at 33 apiece. Hopkins would extend its lead to 50-41 with a 14-4 tear following a back-and-forth 60 seconds that saw both teams trade buckets.

Gettysburg would respond with its own 10-2 run, making the score 52-51 with 5:42 remaining in the game. Two more triples and a free throw for Hopkins widened its lead to six, but the Bullets stormed back once again to pull within one.

The teams traded layups to make it a one-point game, 60-59, with 26 seconds remaining, but Hopkins did what every good basketball team does, and made several late free throws, eventually closing out the win on a six-point run to maintain their win streak. Rhoads played spectacularly, shooting 5 for 7 from the field including 3 for 5 from beyond the arc.

Hopkins then had their home opener on Saturday; unfortunately, they fell to Dickinson 78-72 in overtime.

The Blue Jays came back after being down six points with just over a minute to go to tie the score and send the game into overtime. Sophomore George Bugarinovic downed a free throw before grabbing a defensive board to set up a Spengler field goal with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game, cutting the deficit to three.

Sophomore Jimmy Hammer then nabbed Tucker Landy's inbounds pass, and in an astute play that displayed his basketball awareness, ricocheted the ball off Landy to give the Jays possession with 20 seconds remaining. Bugarinovic then dished the ball to an open Alex Pandrangi, who converted a dramatic and-one to nod the game up at 67-all.

With just under two minutes remaining in overtime Hopkins held a four-point advantage, 72-68. However Dickinson would rip off the final 10 points of the game to hand the Jays their first loss in five games.

The Blue Jays started the game on fire, going on an 11-2 tear. The Red Devils responded with a fast six-point run to trim the Hopkins lead to three points. Hopkins extended its lead to double digits before Dickinson went on a 20-6 run to give the Red Devils a three point lead, 35-32, with just under two minutes left in the half. Rhoads scored three straight points to tie the game at 35 with a minute remaining. A Hammer three-pointer gave the Jays a 38-35 advantage at halftime.

Both teams traded runs in the second half, with Dickinson slowing, pushing the lead to eight with just under four minutes left on the clock. Two Rhoads' free throws and a Pandrangi bucket cut the lead to four with 2:10 left. The Red Devils tacked on two more freebies before Hopkins’ last-minute comeback.

Bugarinovic paced the Blue Jays’ scoring effort with 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting to go along with nine rebounds. Pandrangi recorded 15 points and five boards, while Spengler chipped in with 12 points and four dimes.

Hopkins returned to the court yesterday making the brief trek to Westminster, MD to face host McDaniel. The Jays lost the game 74-64, and now stand 4-3 overall.

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