Defensive intensity has become a trademark of Southwestern over the past couple of seasons, even though it was something that was missing for most of the Sabers' near-upset of No. 2 Dunbar last Thursday.
It was absent again in the early stages of No. 15 Southwestern's contest at No. 10 City yesterday. But the Sabers found it in time and ran off with a 67-51 victory in a Baltimore City non-league matchup.
Earl Carr led Southwestern (9-7) with a game-high 25 points and five steals, and Terrell Dantzler added 12 points. Austin Baker led City (11-6) with 15 points and Ryan Galloway scored 12.
The West Division-leading Sabers needed to bounce back after losing to Dunbar, 56-55, in what may have been a preview of the city title game.
They did just that, assuming control in the second quarter and building a 15-point fourth-quarter margin on the Knights' home court.
"We should have won, but we didn't play any defense in the Dunbar game," said Carr, a 5-foot-10 senior, who scored eight points against Dunbar. "Everybody just came out sluggish."
With Carr leading the defensive resurgence, Southwestern forced 17 turnovers. Offensively, Carr scored 10 in the decisive second quarter, helping the Sabers to a 34-21 halftime lead.
Carr added nine points in the final period, shutting the door on City's fourth-quarter rally by scoring back-to-back baskets, turning a 52-44 lead into 56-44 advantage with 2: 38 remaining.
While Southwestern shook off the Dunbar disappointment, City appears to still be showing effects from its meeting with the Poets last week. The Knights also pushed Dunbar before falling, 63-59, and have now dropped three straight games.
"We're just playing poor," said City coach Daryl Wade, whose team also dropped a 68-60 decision at Lake Clifton last Thursday. "I can't keep making excuses for the Dunbar game; we got to play, and we're playing poorly."
The Knights were up 8-2 early in the first quarter before Southwestern limited them to 2-of-10 shooting in the final five minutes to forge ahead, 15-12, at the conclusion of the period.
The Sabers held the Knights to no field goals and four turnovers in final 5: 14 of the second quarter, turning a 23-20 lead into a 34-21 halftime advantage.
"We had problems coming in, and I was hoping we'd be able to focus," said Southwestern coach Terry Leverett, who was without leading scorer Michael Jones, who had the flu. "We both came in off of a loss and certain mindset, but we were able to play off of theirs."
Pub Date: 2/03/99