Monks Trump Wildcats in Double OT, 84-80

Monks Trump Wildcats in Double OT, 84-80

STANDISH, ME – Monks junior guard Chris Petzy (Kensington, NH) scored a career-high 31 points and connected on a pivotal three-pointer late in the first extra session to help push Saint Joseph's (5-1, 2-0 GNAC) past Johnson & Wales (3-4, 1-1 GNAC), 84-80, in GNAC men's basketball action at the Alfond Center on Wednesday evening.

With the Monks trailing by three with seven seconds left in the first overtime, Petzy hit a leaner from well beyond the arc with a defender in his face to knot the game at 73-all and force a second OT period. Petzy scored 10 of his team-high 31 in the two overtime periods including the Monks' last four points in the decisive second frame.

Tyler Kelley '11 (Saco, ME) tallied 19 points, six assists and five rebounds and O'Brien registered his fifth career double-double with 10 points and a game-high 10 caroms and added seven assists in the SJC win. Petzy shot 10-17 from the floor, 6-10 from downtown and 5-6 from the FT line and added nine boards to his stat line.

Nicholas Jobin '14 (Westbrook, ME) netted seven points and four boards and Tom Ray '12 (Cape Elizabeth, ME) logged valuable minutes and chipped in with six points and three caroms.

Johnson & Wales junior guard Lamonte Thomas (Providence, RI) netted a game-high 34 points off a 13-21 performance from the floor and a perfect 7-7 effort from the FT line in a losing effort. Darren Faust '11 (Queens, NY) added 14 points and five steals and Calvin Jones '12 (Providence, RI) notched 10 points for the Wildcats.

The lead changed hands 11 times and was tied on 12 occasions in the intense conference contest. The Monks' largest lead was 10 points with 3:05 left in the first half, while the Wildcats' biggest cushion was just six points with 16:13 to go in the second stanza.

The first half was hotly contested, as neither team held more than a four-point lead until Kelley drained a jumper off a Julio Vazquez '13 (Waterbury, CT) dish to lift the Monks to a 26-20 advantage with 5:39 before the break.

St. Joe's upped its ante with a trio of trifectas, two from Petzy and another from Kelley, over the subsequent two minutes and led by 10, 36-26, after Vazquez connected on a freebie attempt at the 3:05 mark. The Wildcats charged back with nine unanswered points, including seven straight by Thomas, in the closing minutes and cut their deficit to just three points, 38-35, heading into intermission.

The Monks shot  44.8% from the floor, 44.4% from three-point land, and 80% from the FT line in the opening period while JWU shot 47.1% overall and 30% from three-point range. The Wildcats did not go to the line in the first half.

Thomas led all first-half scorers with 13 points, while Petzy paced the Monks with 11 over the first 20 minutes of play. St. Joe's doubled up the visitors, 22-11, on the glass in the opening half.

Johnson & Wales turned the tables on St. Joe's with a 10-1 surge in the opening 3:47 of the second stanza. After not getting to the charity stripe in the first period, the Wildcats went to the line four times in the first three minutes and converted all four attempts as part of the run, which resulted in the visitor's largest lead – 45-39 – of the evening.

James Folk '12 (Salem, NH) capped the JWU run with a bucket at the 16:13 mark and Petzy answered the call 11 seconds later with a three-ball to cut the Monks deficit in half. After Thomas connected on a driving jumper, Jobin went on to score four straight points for the Monks, two on a shot in the paint and two more on freebie attempts, to lessen the Wildcat lead to one point with 14:36 left in regulation.

Faust and Kelley proceeded to trade blows, as a trey and a jumpshot from Kelley and two jumpers from Faust resulted in a tie game, 51-51, 90 seconds later.

As it turned out, the game-tying shot by Kelley at the 13:03 mark jumpstarted a 9-0 SJC run which saw the Monks secure a 58-51 lead when Kelley capped the surge himself with a three with 10:26 left in the second period.

Saint Joseph's held on to the lead for the next eight minutes, but JWU knotted the contest with a Thomas bucket at the 2:07 mark. The teams traded baskets in the closing minutes, as Petzy and Wildcats senior guard Louis Ferreras (Providence, RI) both converted shots to make it a 65-65 game and force extra play.

Petzy hit a shot on the Monks' first OT possession and Kelley drained a jumper after a Vazquez steal to put the hosts up 69-65 after two minutes of the first five-minute overtime frame. But the scenario appeared bleak for the Royal Blue Faithful, as Johnson & Wales went on to post an 8-1 run, with the help of a 6-6 effort from the FT line, en route to gaining a 73-70 advantage with 23 seconds left.

But the stage was set for Petzy's heroics, as the junior guard made the Monks' triumph possible when he drained a last-ditch heave from the right side of the arc to tie the game for the 11th time, effectively forcing a second OT period.

Saint Joseph's jumped out to a five-point lead with a three from O'Brien and a bucket from Ray in the first 90 seconds of the second overtime frame, but a jumpshot from JWU guard Matt Williams '13 (Mt. Kisco, NY) and a traditional three-point play by Thomas knotted the game at 78-all with 1:45 remaining.

Back to back buckets by Kelley and Petzy staked the Monks to an 82-78 lead with 31 seconds left. One of the most important plays of the night, in a game full of impressive efforts, occurred when Ray took a charge on a drive by Jones with just seven seconds on the clock. The selfless play resulted in a pair of converted free throws by Petzy, which put the hosts up by six with precious little time remaining.

Thomas weaved through traffic and made a layup with three seconds left, but the full-court press on the resulting Monks' in-bounds play was fruitless for the visitors as Petzy dribbled his way through as time expired with the Monks on top, 84-80.

St. Joe's shot 43.1% (28-65) overall, 43.5% (10-23) from three-point distance, and 69.2% (18-26) from the charity stripe, while JWU shot 43.2% (32-74) from the floor, 15.8% (3-19) from long distance and 92.9% (13-14) from the FT line on the night.

The Monks outworked the Wildcats on the glass with a 47-34 advantage in rebounds and registered 22 assists on 28 field goals.

With the win, Saint Joseph's improves to 5-2 all-time against Johnson & Wales and has notched three consecutive wins over the Wildcats dating back to last season. The teams are slated to meet again in Providence on February 8th at 7:30 PM.

The double-overtime contest is the first of Head Coach Rob Sanicola's career, which spans over seven seasons and 197 total contests. Upon research, no double-overtime game was found over the Monks' last 14 seasons.

With three treys in the win, Kelley is now tied with Ryan Martin '00 for third in SJC basketball history with 134 three-pointers made in his career.

Saint Joseph's will play at Suffolk in another conference contest on Saturday at 1:00 PM, while The Wildcats will host GNAC foe Rivier College on Saturday at 1:00 PM.