In front of an electrifying crowd, Stockton University (26-4) took down the #10 ranked Johns Hopkins University (23-4) in a tightly contested and thrilling second round NCAA Tournament matchup on Saturday afternoon.
This victory was the tenth straight overall for the team that is ranked #23 in the tournament and they advance to the sectional round of the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in seven years.
Picking up right where he left off the night before, DJ Campbell once again led the way for the Ospreys with 28 points and a game high eight rebounds. Kadian Dawkins was also a major contributor by pouring in 15 points and grabbing six rebounds.
Johns Hopkins won the opening tip and it only took them about twenty seconds to score. Courtesy of an assist from Connor Delaney, Braeden Johnson knocked down a three to get the Blue Jays on the board first. But as Stockton brought the ball up the other end, Kyion Flanders said not so fast and knocked down a three of his own to get the Ospreys on the board.
Once both teams scored their opening bucket, the first half of play was different for both of them. While Johns Hopkins couldn’t buy a basket, the shot was falling for Stockton and they opened up to a 26-10 lead by the halfway mark in the period. After Ethan Bartlett scored five straight points for Johns Hopkins to bring the lead back down to single digits, Campbell went on an absolute tear and scored the Ospreys’ next eight to open the lead up to 15.
In the final three minutes of the half, the Blue Jays went on a run and got within eight points with just under a minute left. But Campbell had the hot hand for Stockton and he scored once again with 45 seconds left to give the Ospreys a 37-27 lead heading into the locker room.
Campbell had the most points during the first half for the Ospreys with 15 and Bartlett led the way for the Blue Jays with 10. Stockton shot 14-30 (46.7%) from the field and 3-10 (30%) from beyond the arc during the first half. Johns Hopkins struggled a bit from the field as they shot 9-35 (25.7%) and 4-22 (18.2%) from deep.
During the second half, Johns Hopkins began to get into a rhythm and mount a comeback. They turned the ball over on the first possession and allowed Campbell to score. But soon after a three and a dunk from Tom Quarry and a three from Carson James, the Blue Jays got within five points with 17 minutes remaining.
With 14:52 left on the clock, Stockton called a timeout and during the lull in the action, things were getting rowdy in the crowd. Both Stockton and Johns Hopkins fans were yelling at each other from across the court as they were trying to hype their respective teams up.
From there the game went back and forth and Stockton led by as much as eight. With 12 minutes left, John Hopkins went on an 8-0 run and eventually tied the game with 7:25 left thanks to a three from Lincoln Yuetter. With 6:19 left, Sidney Thybulle, cousin of Philadelphia 76ers guard, Matisse Thybulle, laid it in off the glass to give John Hopkins their first lead since the opening tip.
With 4:53 left, Campbell was fouled and sank both free throws to make it an even 58-58 game. Those were the first points Stockton put on the board in nearly eight minutes. A minute later, Campbell was fouled again and sank both free throws to give Stockton a three-point lead. But the lead didn’t last long as Delaney knocked down a three for Johns Hopkins to tie it.
At the two-minute mark, shortly after Dawkins laid it in off the glass to make it a 64-62 lead, Quarry knocked down one free throw to make it a one-point game. That would be the last point Johns Hopkins would score for the duration of the game.
As for Stockton, Campbell was fouled multiple times in the final minute and sank every single free throw to make it a five-point lead. With four seconds left, Dawkins was fouled and both free throws swished through the net to increase the lead to seven.
Johns Hopkins brought the ball up one last time and Delaney put up a desperation three. The shot clanked off the rim and it was all over. Stockton held on to win 70-63 and clinch a spot into the NCAA Sweet 16. You can visit the NCAA.com website on Monday to see who Stockton will be playing next and where the game will be held.