STANDISH, ME - Zach O'Brien '12 (Schenectady, NY) scored 17 points to help Saint Joseph's (13-4, 8-2 GNAC) earn a crucial 71-63 victory over GNAC-rival Emerson College (11-6, 8-2 GNAC) at the Harold Alfond Center on Thursday evening.
Rashon Jones '11 (Bridgeport, CT), with 15 points and 10 boards, and Ray Eatmon '10 (Huntington, NY), who tallied 13 points and 12 caroms, both reached double-double status and Chris Petzy '12 (Kensington, NH) came off the bench to chip in 13 for the Monks, who now have sole possession of second place in the GNAC standings with eight conference games remaining.
Albertus Magnus (13-4, 9-1 GNAC) defeated Lasell tonight, 85-75, to retain the top spot with a month to go before the playoffs begin. With both of their conference losses this season coming against the Monks, Emerson sits in third place.
Jeremy Shannon '10 (Lowell, MA) netted 22 points to lead all scorers and added 7 boards and 5 assists to his stat line in the losing effort. Bryan Rouse '10 (East Greenwich, RI) added 11 points and Tommy Messinger '11 (Florence, MA) chipped in with 9 for the Lions.
This much-ballyhooed matchup between GNAC heavyweights lived up to its billing in the first half, as the score stood at a deadlock on five occasions and the teams traded offensive blows during the quick-paced stanza. The Lions first 15 points all came off three-pointers, but the Monks held their own with high-percentage shots and some hard-work on the glass. Despite the frenzied pace, St. Joe's managed to cling on to the lead for the majority of play with the help of an early outburst.
An Alex Dempsey '12 (Anchorage, AK) three-pointer at the 16:33 mark provided the Lions with a 6-5 lead, but St. Joe's proceeded to go on a 9-0 run over the next 2:35 to gain a 14-6 advantage. The nine-point cushion would prove to be pivotal, as the Emerson three-point barrage gained momentum, with Rouse, Shannon and Messinger all connecting on long balls over the next two minutes to cut the SJC padding to 17-15 with 11:17 left in the first.
The Lions' long-distance efforts went cold over the next four minutes, when four players combined to go fruitless, 0-5, from three-point range, allowing the Monks to reconstruct their lead with a pair of freebies from Alberto Rue '10 (Jamaica Plain, MA) and buckets from Tyler Kelley '11 (Saco, ME) and Tommy Ray '12 (Cape Elizabeth, ME). As a result, St. Joe's was ahead 23-15 with 8:22 to go before the break.
The pesky Lions chipped away at the deficit and tied the game three minutes later after manufacturing an 8-0 surge of their own. A two-pointer from Rouse and threes from Shannon and Messinger produced the first of four ties in the closing 5:33 of the opening stanza.
The final stalemate of the half occurred when Shannon hit a jumper at the 1:34 mark to tie the contest at 29-apiece. St. Joe's would close the period with a lead, however, as Petzy and Jones both went on to convert a layup over the closing 82 seconds to give the Royal Blue a 33-29 advantage heading into the locker room.
St. Joe's shot 51.9% from the floor in the first half, while Emerson shot 32.4% overall in the opening stanza. The Lions, who shot 7-19 (36.8%) from beyond the arc and just 4-15 (26.7%) on two-point attempts, did not get to the line in the first half. Messinger led all scorers with 9 points, all off threes, and Petzy tallied 8 points to pace the Royal Blue in the first period.
The Monks began the second half on a 8-2 run and led by 10, 41-31, after Eatmon made a jumpshot at the 15:04 mark. But six straight points by the visitors, capped by a Kabir Moss '11 (Chico, CA) layup, cut the SJC lead to 41-37 two minutes later.
Saint Joseph's changed the complexion of the game over the next seven and half minutes, as the Monks proceeded to double-up the Lions, 18-9, and led by a game-high 13 points, 59-46, with 5:37 to play. St. Joe's continued to play the percentages and shot a collective 8-11 from the floor during the span, while Emerson was 3-10 overall and 1-4 from beyond the arc while the Monks gained control of the game.
St. Joe's went on to maintain at least a seven-point lead for the remainder of the contest and left the floor with a 72-63 win.
The Monks shot 45% (27-60) overall, 33.3% (4-12) from three-point distance, and 68.4% (13-19) from the line, while the Lions shot 32.9% (23-70) from the floor, 29.4% (10-34) from beyond the arc and 87.5% (7-8) from the FT line. St. Joe's held a 47-35 advantage on the boards, and grabbed a season-high 17 offensive caroms, in the victory. The Monks outscored the Lions, 28-6, in the paint and committed a season-low 9 player fouls.
Both teams will be on the road against GNAC opponents on Saturday, as St. Joe's heads to Albertus Magnus (13-4, 9-1 GNAC) and Emerson will take on Johnson & Wales (7-10, 4-6 GNAC). Tip-off is slated for 3:00 PM for both contests.
Newspaper Box Score Emerson vs St. Joseph's (Me.) 01/28/10 7:30 PM at \Alfond Center, Standish, Maine At \Alfond Center, Standish, Maine ST. JOSEPH'S (ME.) 71, EMERSON 63 EMERSON (11-6, 8-2 GNAC) Jeremy Shannon 8-18 3-4 22; Bryan Rouse 4-10 2-2 11; Tommy Messinger 3-11 0-0 9; Nathan Firn 3-12 0-0 6; Alex Dempsey 2-4 0-0 5; Dan Boylan 1-5 0-0 3; Carlos Negrete 1-5 0-0 3; Kabir Moss 1-3 0-0 2; Drew Venter 0-2 2-2 2. Totals 23-70 7-8 63. ST. JOSEPH'S (ME.) (13-4, 8-2 GNAC) Zach O'Brien 7-15 2-2 17; Rashon Jones 6-10 3-4 15; Ray Eatmon 5-10 3-5 13; Chris Petzy 5-10 1-2 13; Alberto Rue 1-3 3-4 6; Tyler Kelley 2-8 1-2 5; Tom Ray 1-1 0-0 2; Anthony Savino 0-2 0-0 0; Julio Vazquez 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-60 13-19 71. Emerson....................... 29 34 - 63 St. Joseph's (Me.)............ 33 38 - 71 3-point goals--Emerson 10-34 (Tommy Messinger 3-10; Jeremy Shannon 3-7; Bryan Rouse 1-2; Alex Dempsey 1-1; Dan Boylan 1-5; Carlos Negrete 1-5; Drew Venter 0-1; Kabir Moss 0-2; Nathan Firn 0-1), St. Joseph's (Me.) 4-12 (Chris Petzy 2-4; Alberto Rue 1-1; Zach O'Brien 1-3; Tyler Kelley 0-3; Rashon Jones 0-1). Fouled out--Emerson-None, St. Joseph's (Me.)-None. Rebounds--Emerson 35 (Jeremy Shannon 7; Kabir Moss 7), St. Joseph's (Me.) 47 (Ray Eatmon 12). Assists--Emerson 11 (Jeremy Shannon 5), St. Joseph's (Me.) 14 (Zach O'Brien 4). Total fouls--Emerson 18, St. Joseph's (Me.) 9. Technical fouls--Emerson-None, St. Joseph's (Me.)-None. A-220