STANDISH, ME – Junior guard Zach O'Brien (Schenectady, NY/Bishop Gibbons) surpassed 1,000 career points in the Monks' 78-51 win over Rivier College on Tuesday night.
O'Brien, a Second Team All-GNAC selection as a sophomore, is the 34th member of the Monks' 1,000-point club and just the 12th player in program history to reach the milestone during their junior campaign.
He entered the Rivier tilt 18 points shy of 1,000 career points and hit the mark with an unassisted jumpshot at the 15:15 mark of the second half. O'Brien finished the night with 20 points and has 1,002 points in 75 career contests.
O'Brien joins teammate Tyler Kelley '11 (Saco, ME), who reached the plateau two weeks ago in a win over Emmanuel, in the exclusive club. Multiple players have accumulated 1,000 career points in the same season eight times in program history. The last time occurred when Carl Howell '99 and Mike Fortier '98 both achieved the four-digit career total during the 1997-98 campaign.
One of the finest all-around contributors for Saint Joseph's in recent memory, O'Brien currently carries career averages of 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per contest. Through 24 games this season he leads the Monks in scoring (17.0 PPG), rebounding (4.6 RPG), assists (4.2 APG), FG% (49.7%), steals (30) and playing time (32.7 minutes per game).
His 2010-11 points per game output is the most by an SJC player since Jon Pratt '95 averaged 17.6 PPG during the 1994-95 season. O'Brien is also the first St. Joe's hoopster to register 400 points (409 through 24 games) since Elbie Murphy '09 scored 415 in 2007-08.
Only five 1,000-point scorers at Saint Joseph's have averaged more assists per game than O'Brien has to this point in his career (David Chadbourne '87, Mark Jones '85, Tyrone White '89, Jeff Creech '86 and Jamie Header '93).
O'Brien's name is likely to be littered throughout the SJC record book once he completes his four seasons on "The Lake." He currently ranks third in career free-throw percentage (78.8%, 167-212) and has the potential to cap his career in the top ten in points, field goals made, field goals attempted, three-pointers made and assists.
Aside from Kelley, O'Brien has played with two other 1,000-point scorers in his SJC career: Elbie Murphy '09 and Ray Eatmon '10. O'Brien assisted on Eatmon's 1,000th-point bucket in a win over Mount Ida at the Alfond on February 20th, 2010. He is the sixth player to hit the milestone during Head Coach Rob Sanicola's tenure, which spans nearly eight full seasons.
A team co-captain along with fellow junior Chris Petzy (Kensington, NH), O'Brien has helped St. Joe's post a 17-7 overall record and a 14-3 mark in Great Northeast Athletic Conference play this season. The Monks currently sit in first place in the GNAC with one league game - a 1:00 PM tip at Mount Ida College this Saturday - remaining. The GNAC Tournament begins next week with a quarterfinal contest slated for Tuesday, opponent and start time TBD.
O'Brien's game-by-game statistics