• Score: Johns Hopkins-69, Franklin & Marshall-55
• Records: JHU (16-8, 13-4 CC) • FMC (14-10, 8-9 CC)
• Location: Lancaster, PA • Mayser Center
• The Short Story: Senior Michael Gardner scored a game-high 30 points to lead the Johns Hopkins men's basketball team to a 69-55 win at Franklin & Marshall Wednesday night.
How it Happened
• Trailing by five after a Gardner three-pointer, Justin Kupa converted a three-point play to spark a 10-1 run that turned the five-point deficit into a four-point lead at the 9:26-mark. The teams traded scores and Franklin & Marshall led 18-16 two and a half minutes later. Four straight points from Solomon Mathis pushed the Dips' lead to its largest, at six points, with 5:08 to play in the half.
• Junior Harry O'Neil cashed in a on a three-point play to kick-start a 13-3 run over the final 4:10 of the half. Gardner accounted for the final eight points and put the punctuation mark on the half with a steal and a pull-up three at the buzzer. Hopkins went into the half with a 29-25 lead.
• It was Franklin & Marshall that came out hot to start the second half, scoring seven unanswered points to take a 32-29 lead at the 18:21-mark. The lead was short-lived however as Gardner knotted the score just 12 seconds later on a bucket from downtown. He followed with a layup to put the Blue Jays up 34-32 and they would not trail again.
Senior Joey Fitzpatrick made good on a conventional three-point play, Gardner then sandwiched triples around an O'Neil basket and just like that the lead was 11. JC McGrath hit back-to-back buckets, bookended around an O'Neil layup and JHU led 47-38. That's as close as the Dips would get for nearly nine minutes as the Blue Jays pushed their lead to as many as 15.
• Solomon scored six unanswered points to pull Franklin & Marshall back within nine with 3:19 to play. Freshman Braeden Johnson ended the spurt with a three-pointer and sophomore Joey Kern followed with a drive and score to stake Hopkins to a 14-point lead just 50 seconds later. The Dips would get no closer than 12 in the final three minutes.
What it Means
• Hopkins improves to 42-64 all-time against Franklin & Marshall and has won four straight and seven of the last eight in the series.
• The Blue Jays are currently second in the Centennial Conference with one game to play. JHU can grab the number one seed in next week's conference tournament with a win on Saturday AND a Swarthmore loss.
Inside the Box Score
• Gardner's 30-point outing was his second of the season and third of his career. He is the first Blue Jay with multiple 30-point games in the same season since Andy Enfield had six in the 1990-91 season. Gardner also grabbed six rebounds and handed out a pair of assists. He is just the sixth player in program history with at least 1,000 points and 200 assists.
• O'Neil finished with nine points and six rebounds, while senior Daniel Vila had eight points. Fitzpatrick dished a game-high five assists and pulled down six rebounds.
• Mathis led the Diplomats with 18 points while Kupa and McGrath had nine points each. McGrath also had a game-high nine rebounds.
• Hopkins wraps up the regular season on Saturday as the Blue Jays host the Haverford Fords. Tip-off at Goldfarb Gym is slated for 7:00 pm.