Wednesday, February 11, 2009

White Knuckle Time

Legendary Marquette coach Al McGuire used to describe it as "White Knuckle" time ... that time of a close game when every play matters ... every play can be the difference between victory and defeat. A time when nerves can get the better a player ... while some always seem to rise to the occasion. We're at "White Knuckle" time in the Conference with four games remaining in the Centennial regular season. Franklin & Marshall has secured one of the five playoff berths, while McDaniel can punch its dance card with a win against Dickinson tonight. The other slots are still up for grabs with hopefuls involved in key games.

Washington at Haverford
With all due respect, it's been quite some time since this game has had as much relevance for both teams this late in the season as it does tonight. The Shoremen (7-7, 10-11) and the Fords (7-7, 10-10) are tied for fifth place in the Conference and the winner will have a leg up on one of the five coveted playoff spots. Haverford won its sixth straight in the series in dramatic fashion on Jan. 26 as Sam Permutt scored on a layup with 1.5 seconds remaining for a 59-57 triumph. Washington has not won on the Main Line since 2003 (80-76).

Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
The Bullets (9-5, 14-6) and the Blue Jays (6-8, 11-10) are two teams in the need of a win. Gettysburg, who was ranked as high as No. 9 in the country back in December, has lost three of its last four since a 71-62 win over Hopkins at Bream Gym on Jan. 26. That same night was the start of the Jays' current five-game losing streak. This is the 71st meeting between the two foes with the Bullets holding an 18-17 lead since the inception of the CC in 1994. Johns Hopkins has made a three-point field goal in 338 consecutive games. The streak began on Feb. 17, 1996 and is the 10th longest active streak in all of NCAA Division III.

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