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Posted On: 02/17/18 2:20 PM
Two MIAA/BCL juggernauts collided on the hardwood last night. In the end, St. Frances came out with a 65-58 victory over the Gaels from Mt. St. Joseph. With the win, St. Frances improves to 31-4, while Mt. St. Joseph drops to 27-4 overall.
Balanced scoring attack for St. Frances
The Panthers had four players finish in double figures. 2018 guard Elijah Epps and 2020 guard Jordan Toles finished with 12 points a piece while 2020 guard Ace Baldwin and 2018 big man Koran Moore chipped in with 11 points each. St. Frances struggled shooting from the field, finishing with 38 percent from the field and 13 percent from deep, so any contributions were magnified.
Jalen Smith puts on a show
The future Maryland Terp showcased his full array of skills last night. Smith finished with 23 points and did so from anywhere on the floor. He canned two triples and had a handful tough shots from mid-range. Smith is especially good at catching from 15 to 16 feet, pivoting to face the basket, and rising over his defender to get his shot off. With his length, all the defender can do is contest and hope he misses. The 6’10 forward didn’t miss many last night.
Ace Baldwin flirts with a triple-double
This has become a regular thing this season, but last night the 2020 point guard almost collected another triple-double. He finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Baldwin, who struggled finding his shot going 3-for-12 from the floor, is always sure to make his impact felt in other ways. That’s what makes him so valuable to this Panthers team. As postseason play is around the corner, it’ll become much more vital.
James Bishop comes on late for the Gaels
After heading into the locker room at halftime with only five points, the 2019 guard erupted in the second half. He finished with a game-high 25 points, including three triples and going a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe. Bishop and Smith have been one of the most dangerous duos in the state and it was evident once again last night.
What’s next for both teams?
The MIAA playoffs ramp up early next week. St. Frances locked up the top seed and will play host to Mt. Carmel this Tuesday at 7pm. Mount Saint Joseph will be the second seed and host McDonogh Tuesday at 7pm. If the playoffs look anything like this regular season has, these two heavyweights will match up once again in the championship, which will be held February 25 at Harford Community College.