HAVERFORD, PA – The Johns Hopkins men's basketball team opened its Centennial Conference slate on a strong note Tuesday night with a 72-46 win over host Haverford. The Blue Jays (2-1, 1-0 CC) opened the game on a 15-0 run and never looked back as they led wire-to-wire against the Fords (1-2, 0-1 CC). Sophomores George Bugarinovic and Jimmy Hammer combined for 37 points in the win.
Senior Adam Spengler got the Blue Jays on the board at the 18:24 mark of the first half with a layup, then picked the pocket of Louis Cipriano and fed a pass to Hammer for a three-pointer. That ignited Hopkins' game-opening 15-0 run, as the visitors seemed to be in control of the game early. Bugarinovic and Hammer fueled the run with 13 of the team's 15 points. Haverford was slow out of the gate, but responded with a 13-2 run of its own to make it a four-point game with 7:50 to play in the half.
The Blue Jays pushed their lead back to seven with a triple from sophomore Omar Randall and the teams traded buckets over the next four minutes as Hopkins led 22-17 with 2:42 on the clock. Junior Aleksandar Nikolic hit the back-end of a pair of free throws to kick-start an 8-0 run that ended the half and gave the Jays a 30-17 lead at the half. Spengler had the final say of the half with a pair of free throws with three ticks on the clock.
Spengler picked up where he left off to start the half, draining a three-pointer to stake Hopkins to a 16-point lead. Back-to-back buckets from Gibby Graves and Anthony Reyes made it a 33-21 game. The teams once again traded buckets as the lead see-sawed up and down over the ensuing 60 seconds. Hopkins then went on a 10-4 spurt, with a pair of threes from Hammer, to push out to a 17-point lead. The Fords wouldn't go away, chipping the lead back down 12 points with just over 11 minutes to play in the game.
Hopkins once again came right back and retook its 17-point lead, but Haverford had one last run in it as the Fords made it a 57-44 game at the 7:08 mark. The Blue Jays took over from there, closing the game with a 15-2 run, punctuated by a fast-break dunk from freshman Matt Billups.
Bugarinovic led three Blue Jays in double figures with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field and 5-of-7 from the line. Hammer punched up 15 points, with all five of his field goals coming from behind the arc. He also had a pair of steals. Spengler rounded out the Jays in double digits with 11 points to go along with three assists and two steals. Nikolic corralled a game-high eight rebounds as the Blue Jays dominated on the boards, 39-20. Reyes led the Fords with 15 points, going 6-of-9 from the field, while Cam Baker added 12 points. Hopkins shot 49.1 percent from the field for the game, including 47.1 from three-point range. Haverford shot just 34.1 percent for the game, including 27.3 percent in the first half.
Hopkins will return to the court on Monday, November 26 as part of a benefit game at Goucher for Damon Brooks. Brooks, a freshman on the 2011-12 Goucher men's basketball team, was paralyzed in an accident last April. Tip off at the Decker Sports & Recreation Center is set for 7:30 pm. Admission is five dollars for all attendees, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Mid-Atlantic Spinal Cord Injury Fund, which assists those who been critically injured.