STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's improved to 10-5 overall and 7-1 in Great Northeast Athletic Conference play with a 74-52 victory over Mount Ida College on Saturday afternoon. Chris Petzy '12 (Kensington, NH) went 5-7 from downtown and scored a game-high 19 points in SJC triumph.
The Mustangs came into the Alfond looking to give the Monks (who rank second in all of NCAA Basketball with a 45.6% (130-285) three-point success rate) a taste of their own medicine with a steady dose of trifectas. Mount Ida did launch 35 threes, a season-high for an SJC opponent, but only nine were on target as the visitors shot a paltry 25.7% from beyond the arc in a losing effort.
University of Rochester (45.9%, 130-283) currently ranks as the NCAA leader in three-point efficiency.
The first half of the conference contest was very competitive, as the score oscillated nine times in the first 20 minutes and the Monk carried a narrow 34-33 lead into intermission. The second stanza began in the same fashion, but the Royal Blue put up a game-changing 15-1 run – including eight Petzy points – to secure a 56-39 cushion with 9:14 remaining.
The Mustangs managed to cut their deficit to 10 points – 58-48 – when Isiah Benjamin '12 (Windsor, CT) knocked down a three-pointer nearly four minutes later. But St. Joe's dashed the visitors' comeback hopes with a 14-0 run, which was capped by a Nicholas Jobin '14 (Westbrook, ME) bucket that saw the Monks take a game-high 24-point lead – 72-48 – with two minutes remaining.
Jobin notched an outstanding outing with 13 points with a game-high seven caroms and Zach O'Brien '12 (Schenectady, NY) added 12 points, three boards and three assists for Saint Joseph's. Matthew Medeiros '14 (Westport, MA) added nine points, Tyler Kelley '11 (Saco, ME) scored eight, and Julio Vazquez '13 (Waterbury, CT) registered seven dimes in the lopsided result.
David Gibbs '12 (East Hartford, CT) paced the Mustangs with 15 points – all in the first half - and added seven assists and six rebounds in the loss. Keith Jones '12 (Boston, MA) added 14 points in a losing effort.
For the second consecutive game the Monks came out of the gates cold, as Mount Ida raced out to a 16-6 lead after 4:51 of play. St. Joe's didn't grab its first lead until O'Brien netted a trifecta to put the Royal Blue on top, 23-21, with 6:18 left in the opening half.
The teams essentially traded blows for the remainder of the half, as the lead changed hands eight times until intermission began with the Monks ahead by one point.
In the first period, St. Joe's shot 45.8% from the floor, 44.4% from three-point distance, and 66.7% from the stripe. Mount Ida shot 37.5% from the field, 33.3% from beyond the arc, and 50% from the FT line.
Gibbs led all scorers with 15 points in the first half, while O'Brien's 10 points paced the Royal Blue.
Jones kicked off the second stanza with a three-pointer to lift the Mustangs to a 36-34 advantage 51 seconds into play. As it turned out, the two-point edge was the only lead the visitors would enjoy for the remainder of the contest.
SJC center Clark Noonan '14 (Bangor, ME) knotted the game with a bucket at the 18:01 mark and Vazquez dropped in a layup nearly a minute later to put his team ahead to stay.
Mustangs junior Travis Hillery (Tyngsboro, MA) and Kelley exchanged three-pointers over the following three minutes to make it a 41-38 game with 15:26 on the clock. Six minutes later, Saint Joseph's held a daunting 56-39 cushion after registering the aforementioned offensive outburst.
Saint Joseph's shot 50.9% (28-55) from the floor, 52.6% (10-19) from three-point distance, and 57.1% (8-14) from the FT line in the victory. Mount Ida shot 32.8% (19-58) from the field, 25.7% (9-35) from beyond the arc, and 50% (5-10) from the stripe in a losing effort.
The Monks held a 37-28 advantage on the glass, which led to a 30-18 lead in points scored in the paint. All 16 SJC players appeared in the blowout win and the Monks' bench accounted for 26 of the team's points.
With the triumph, Saint Joseph's improves to 7-0 against Mount Ida in the history of the series.
Both teams will host GNAC rivals on Tuesday, as Saint Joseph's faces Rivier College at 7:00 PM and Mount Ida play Lasell College at 6:00 PM.
Postgame interview with Nicholas Jobin: