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Blue Jays stumble on Senior Day and fall to fourth seed

Kyle Doran led JHU with 20 points against Haverford.

It wasn’t the Senior Day the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays men’s basketball team wanted, and even more heart-breakingly the unexpected 80-78 loss to the Haverford Fords dropped them from the second seed to the fourth seed in the upcoming Centennial Conference tournament.

In a game which featured 17 lead changes and 18 ties, both teams made over half of their shots in the game. But the Fords made just one more big one in the final minute.

The game was tied at 75-75 with 2:11 remaining after Kyle Doran made one of two free throws. Jack Cork, though, gave the Fords the lead right back. Then the Blue Jays missed two shots and had to settle for only one of two made free throws to make it a one-point game with 77 seconds left.

That wasn’t what they could afford to do.

With exactly one minute remaining in the game, Jonathan Lang nailed a 3-pointer to give the Fords a two-possession lead. Michael Gardner immediately hit a jumper on the Blue Jays next possession and then Doran stole the ball to give the Blue Jays hope for a late victory or tie, but Gardner’s last-second jumper missed and the Blue Jays suffered the stinging defeat.

Doran came off the bench to lead the Blue Jays with 20 points while Gardner had 18 points. Ryan Curran started the game with four of his senior classmates – Josh Wetzler, Max McKee, Austin Vasiliadis and Nikhil Panu – and finished with 15 points. Regular rotation player Sam Gordon was the lone Blue Jays senior to come off the bench but finished tied for a team-best seven rebounds in 19 minutes.

But while the Blue Jays made 51.7-percent of their attempts, sunk seven 3-pointers and out-rebounded Haverford 37-26, the one thing they just couldn’t do was convert from the foul line. The freebies were far from free on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Jays were drawing fouls, but they went just 9-for-22 from the line. The Fords were a much more successful 21-for-24 on free throws.

Lang led Haverford with 25 points while Kahlil Garnes was 12-for-12 from the line in a 21-point effort. Matt Sherman and Jack Cork scored 12 and 10 points, respectively.

The largest lead in the closely-contested game was only six points early in the game when the Blue Jays took a 10-4 lead. The late four-point lead was Haverford’s biggest advantage.

Instead of earning a bye into the semifinals of the Centennial Conference tournament, the Blue Jays will host Ursinus in the first round of their postseason on Wednesday. The winner of the game will travel to top-seeded Swarthmore on Friday night for the semifinals.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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