NASHUA, NH – Zach O'Brien '12 (Schenectady, NY) scored a game-high 20 points and became the 34th member of the Monks Basketball 1,000-point club in a 78-51 Saint Joseph's (17-7, 14-3 GNAC) victory over Rivier College (12-12, 7-10 GNAC) on Tuesday evening.
O'Brien entered the contest 18 points shy of the four-digit mark and reached the milestone with a jumpshot at the 15:15 mark of the second half. Of the 34 SJC 1,000-point club members, O'Brien is one of just 12 to eclipse the landmark during their junior season.
The Monks led from wire to wire on this night and used an 11-2 run early in the first half to dash the hosts' hopes of an upset. Saint Joseph's led by double-digits for nearly 30 minutes of play in what turned out to be one of the team's most lopsided wins of the season.
Chris Petzy '12 (Kensington, NH) netted 19 points off a 7-11 shooting effort and Tyler Kelley '11 (Saco, ME) added 13 points and four trifectas on the night. Kelley's fourth three-pointer was his 70th of the season – only three other players have netted 70 shots from downtown in a single season at Saint Joseph's.
Anthony Savino '11 (Portland, ME/Cheverus) added 10 points off the bench and Julio Vazquez '13 (Waterbury, CT) grabbed a game-high 12 caroms – also a career-best – in the triumph. Clark Noonan '14 (Bangor, ME) chipped in with eight points and seven boards and fellow first-year Nicholas Jobin (Westbrook, ME) contributed with five points and seven rebounds.
For the Raiders, Tom Poitras registered 11 points and seven rebounds and Cliff Celestin added 10 points in the losing bid.
The Monks shot 44.4% (28-63) from the floor, 38.9% (7-18) from downtown, and 71.4% (15-21) from the FT line. The Raiders shot 33.3% (19-57) overall, 17.6% (3-17) from three-point range, and 58.8% (10-17) from the stripe.
St. Joe's held a commanding 47-34 advantage on the boards and outscored Rivier by an 18-9 margin in points off turnovers.
With the win, Saint Joseph's improves to 6-3 in the history of the series with Rivier. The Monks have now defeated the Raiders in five consecutive meetings.
Both teams resume action on Saturday against conference opponents on the road. Saint Joseph's will play at Mount Ida at 1:00 PM, while Rivier will face Lasell at 2:00 PM that day.