Lacy, Gates Come Through in Clutch as Garnet Rally to Defeat Johns Hopkins 55-51


SWARTHMORE, Pa. - Junior Sam Lacy and freshman Will Gates certainly came through when it counted for the Swarthmore College men's basketball team (6-17, 5-11).

Not only did the duo combine to score the Garnet's final 11 points in the last two minutes of play and shoot a perfect six-of-six from the free-throw line in pressure situations, but each player recorded a game-saving block in the waning moments as the Garnet rallied to defeat visiting Johns Hopkins 55-51 on Monday evening from Tarble Pavilion.

Gates scored seven points in the game's final two minutes.

Gates scored seven points in the game's final two minutes.

Gates finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth career double-double, while junior Ryan Carmichael added 11 points. Lacy finished with seven points, four of which came at the line in the final minute.

The victory is the Garnet's first over Johns Hopkins (11-12, 7-9) since 2004, snapping a streak of 11-consecutive defeats to the Blue Jays.

Hopkins forward Andre Faber-Miller led all scorers with 23 points, but the Blue Jays' offense went cold at the absolute worst time, as Swat held Hopkins to just three points in the final 2:36  of  play - which came on three-pointer with :11 seconds remaining when the outcome had already been determined.

The Garnet upset caused a ripple effect throughout the Centennial Conference, as the Hopkins loss clinched playoff berths for Ursinus, Muhlenberg and Gettysburg.

A tight game throughout, Hopkins appeared to be taking control of the game with less than three minutes to play. An old-fashioned three-point play by Faber-Miller - his third of the game - gave the Blue Jays a 48-44 with 2:48 remaining in the game.

But just as he has all season long, Gates stepped up with a huge three-pointer when Swat needed it most. The freshman phenom drilled a contested three pointer to cut the Blue Jay lead to 48-47 with 1:24 left. The three by Gates proved to be the pivotal play in the game - as it sparked an 11-0 Swat run over the final minute of the game that proved to be the difference in the game.

On Hopkins' next possession, it was Gates again -  blocking a Sean Wildes shot and proceeding to get to the free-throw line. He buried both shots, giving Swarthmore the lead at 49-48 with :52 seconds to play.

Now with the lead, it was Lacy's time to shine for Swarthmore.

After draining a pair of free throws to give Swat a 51-48 lead with :32 seconds remaining, the junior came up big on the defensive end, blocking the shot of Hopkins' Pat O'Connell while proceeding to draw the foul on the rebound. Lacy hit two more free throws with just :23 seconds left, giving the Garnet a two possession lead and effectively sealing the game for Swarthmore.

While the Blue Jays finished with a 16-8 edge in points of the bench, Swat held a 20-13 edge in points off turnovers.  The Garnet with a 30-26 rebounding edge.

The Garnet backcourt trio of freshman Jordan Martinez, senior captain Matt Allen and sophomore Andrew Greenblatt played outstanding, combining for 14 points and seven assists.

Swarthmore returns to action this Wednesday with a trip to McDaniel. Action is slated to begin at 7:00 p.m.

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