STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's College (14-5, 11-1 GNAC) defeated Emmanuel College (5-13, 4-8 GNAC), 70-51, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference Men's Basketball tilt at the Alfond Center on Monday evening. Senior guard Tyler Kelley (Saco, ME) scored 10 points and surpassed the 1,000-point plateau in the SJC victory.
Kelley, who entered tonight's game needing six points to reach the milestone, netted five in the first half and drained a three-pointer 1:38 into the second stanza to become the 33rd player in Monks Basketball history to register 1,000 career points.
Save for the opening minutes, St. Joe's controlled the pace throughout the conference contest. At the 14:51 mark, a pair of Kelley freebies put the Monks up 7-6 and ignited a 9-0 outburst that put the hosts ahead for good. Saint Joseph's led by 20 – 39-19 – heading into intermission after posting a game-changing 14-3 run over the final four minutes of the opening period.
Zach O'Brien '12 (Schenectady, NY) paced the Royal Blue with 17 points and added four assists and Chris Petzy '12 (added 11 points off a 3-5 performance from downtown. Freshman center Clark Noonan (Bangor, ME) tied career-highs with 11 points and eight rebounds and classmate Nicholas Jobin (Westbrook, ME) tallied seven points and four caroms.
Xavier Everson '13 (Rochester, NY) led all scorers with 19 points for Emmanuel while teammate Nate Jackson '12 (Middleboro, MA) chipped in with 10 points and eight boards in a losing effort.
The Monks led by a wide margin for the majority of the second half, although the Saints managed to score points in bunches on several occasions to make things interesting.
Jobin put the Royal Blue on top by 21 – 52-31 – after scoring a bucket in the paint with 12:20 remaining, but the visitors proceeded to net 10 unanswered points over the following two minutes to make it a 52-41 game.
Emmanuel trailed 57-45 when Jackson tapped in a layup at the 7:20 mark, but the Monks erased any doubt of which team would walk away with win by scoring eight consecutive points in the paint. Noonan scored six of those points to help Saint Joseph's cement the win.
Saint Joseph's shot 43.1% (25-58) overall, 31.8% (7-22) from downtown, and 68.4% (13-19) from the free throw line, while Emmanuel shot 37.7% (20-53) from the floor, 20% (3-15) from three-point range, and 42.1% (8-19) from the stripe.
The Monks held a 44-32 advantage on the glass and forced 19 Emmanuel turnovers with six steals in the win. St. Joe's has now won five consecutive games and nine out of the last 10 contests overall.
With the win, Saint Joseph's has now defeated Emmanuel in seven straight meetings and improves to 7-1 in the history of the series.
Kelley is the fifth player to reach the 1,000-point mark during Head Coach Rob Sanicola's eight seasons as the Monks' skipper. Steve Monteiro '05, Chad Pulkkinen '07, Elbie Murphy '09, and Ray Eatmon '10 also hit the milestone while playing for Coach Sanicola.
O'Brien continues to make a name for himself in the conference and reached the 900-point mark in tonight's victory. The three-year starter now has 905 points in 70 career contests.
St. Joe's will host Suffolk University on Thursday at 7:30 PM, while Emmanuel will host Albertus Magnus on Thursday at 7:00 PM.
Postgame interview with Tyler Kelley:
Postgame interview with Head Coach Rob Sanicola '99: