Garnet wing Steve Wolf '08 scored a career high 25 points on Wednesday evening, but the Garnet (0-5, 0-2 CC) fell to the visiting Johns Hopkins Blue Jays 75-56 in Centennial Conference action in Tarble Pavilion.
The Blue Jays (3-2, 1-0 CC) jumped out to a quick 11-2 lead before Garnet center Jon Tundel '09, making his first start of the season, nailed a three-pointer to start a Swarthmore run that would soon tie the game at 14. Tundel and frontcourt mate Ian McCormick '08 combined for nine early before points before running into foul trouble; each would play only six minutes in the half.
With the two big men on the bench, the scoring load fell to Wolf, and the sophomore responded by pouring in 18 points, hitting jump shots from inside and out. Swarthmore kept the game close and was within two points at 27-25 with 4:52 remaining before Hopkins closed the half with a 13-4 run, taking a 40-29 lead.
Both teams struggled offensively throughout much of the second half; with 10 minutes remaining, the Blue Jays' lead was 49-37. Two minutes later, a Noam Fliegelman '07 three-pointer brought Swarthmore back within 11 at 51-40, but that was as close as the Garnet would get. A three-pointer by the Blue Jays' Doug Polster capped a 7-0 run that stretched the lead to 18 and the visitors never again led by less than 15.
Strong offensive rebounding was a key to the Johns Hopkins victory; the visitors grabbed nine while holding Swarthmore to four. The Blue Jays also dominated the inside game, outscoring the Garnet 46-14 in the paint.
McCormick led the Swarthmore's second half offense with 13 points on five for seven shooting on his way to 17 points on the evening.
Wolf added seven in the half to finish with a career-high 25 while playing almost 39 minutes. He also grabbed a team-leading eight rebounds. Tundel led the team with three assists, all to McCormick, as the duo flashed a potent high-low game.
Rugged forward Danny Narwocki led the way for the Blue Jays with 17 points.
The Garnet will fly to St. Louis, Mo. tomorrow morning to get ready for the Lopota Classic, hosted by Washington University of St. Louis. Swarthmore faces Wisconsin Lutheran at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2 and will play either Washington or the University of Dallas on Saturday evening. Centennial Conference play returns to Tarble Pavilion next Thursday, December 8, when the Garnet will host defending champion Ursinus at 7:00 p.m.