Posted by Michael Glick on Jan 03 2003 at 04:00PM PST
Eight three-pointers from Gibbons are not enough to erase early deficit 01/04/2003 In a switch from the usual low-scoring defensive battles played in the MIAA A Conference, #4 Archbishop Spalding held back a late rally by #14 Cardinal Gibbons, in an up-tempo offensive battle, to a claim an 84-80 victory, last night at Gibbons. Jesse Brooks, a junior point guard, had a huge game for the Cavaliers, scoring 20-points, including nine in the final two minutes to hold off the Gibbons charge, and dishing out 10 assists. Fellow junior Rudy Gay also had another big night for Spalding, scoring a game-high 21-points. In many respects this was a tale of two completely different games. Spalding dominated for much of the first half and built a commanding 39-17 lead with less than three minutes remaining in the second quarter. Gibbons, however, ignited at this point and went on a 12-3 run to close the half, shaving the Spalding lead to 42-29. In the second half, the Crusader offense continued to fire on all cylinders, shooting 55-percent from the field and putting up 51-points, as five players reached double figures in scoring. Spalding (9-2, 2-1 in the A Conference) also continue to score at a higher than normal rate, but its lead gradually shrunk as the Crusaders, who sank eight three-point field goals, kept coming in waves. In the frantic final two minutes, Brooks single-handedly held off the final Gibbons charge, but not before the Crusaders had pulled within 82-80 with just three-seconds left in the game. From there, Tim Brackney converted two free-throw attempts to finally seal the win for the Cavaliers. Glenn Nelson, who came off the bench, and Brett Foelber led the Gibbons scoring attack with 15-points each. Adding to the fire-power were Brahn Jenkins, 13-points, and Leo Williams and Pat Grace, who scored 12-points each. Spalding, which finished second at the prestigious Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament in Lewes, Delaware last weekend, got off to great start behind the play of 7’-0” center Will Bowers. Bowers scored 11-points and blocked six shots, as the Cavaliers built a 22-point lead in the first half. However, as was the case in Spalding’s loss two weeks ago at Mount St. Joseph, Bowers missed much of the second half with foul trouble and eventually fouled out with just 1:23 remaining in the contest. Both squads now move on to difficult road encounters tomorrow in a conference that appears to be growing deeper by the week. Spalding will be at #7 St. Frances, which now shares the league lead with McDonogh (both are 2-0 in the conference) and Gibbons (8-4, 1-3) will travel to McDonogh to face the #9 Eagles. The Spalding-St. Frances game tips at 3:00 pm and the Gibbons-McDonogh contest will get underway at 3:30 pm.


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