BOSTON, MA – Saint Joseph's (7-3, 3-1 GNAC) topped Emmanuel College (4-7, 3-1 GNAC), 56-51, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore center Clark Noonan (Bangor, Maine) registered 10 rebounds, eight points, and three assists in the victory.
Noonan hit a turn-around in the key 44 seconds into the game to open up the scoring and give the Monks an early advantage. Senior captain Chris Petzy (Kensington, N.H.) drained a three from the right wing to give the Monks a 7-2 edge at the 16:47 mark and the visitors pushed it to a double-figure lead when Noonan hit a shot in the paint to lift his team to a 19-9 advantage with 10:45 on the clock.
Saints junior guard Connor Morgan (Chepachet, R.I.) buried a deep three-ball to keep Emmanuel in it, as the hosts trailed, 24-14 with 7:30 remaining in the half. On Emmanuel's next possession, junior Michael Mailhot (Norwich, Conn.) dialed in from downtown to cut the Saints' deficit to 24-17.
Sophomore forward James Philbrook (Auburn, Maine) brought the Monks back to a double-figure spread with a hoop at the five-minute mark. Another Emmanuel trey by Mailhot made it 33-25 with 3:05 left to play in the half. The Monks then went on a 6-2 run to end the half and carried a 39-27 lead into the break at halftime.
Petzy and Noonan led the Monks with eight first-half points, while Zach O'Brien (Schenectady, N.Y.) and Julio Vazquez (Waterbury, Conn.) each dished out four assists in the opening frame.
Mailhot led Emmanuel with eight points, while Morgan and Duke each added six points for the Saints. Sophomore forward Theo Robinson (Springfield, Mass.) hauled in six rebounds to lead both teams on the glass at the break.
St. Joe's shot 42.9% (15-35), compared to the 34.4% (11-32) performance by the Saints. The Monks out-rebounded the Saints, 24-19, and scored 15 second chance points in the first twenty minutes of action.
Morgan opened the second half with two quick threes and put the Saints within striking distance, as the hosts trailed, 43-35 with 15:47 remaining. After an Emmanuel timeout, Morgan buried another trey to cut the Saints' deficit to five, 43-38, with 13:55 to go. A runner by Xavier Everson (Rochester, N.Y.) made it a three-point game and capped a 13-4 run by the Saints to open the second stanza.
After a Monks timeout, Emmanuel sophomore guard Josh Welles (Philadelphia, Pa.) cut it to one point, 43-42, before two consecutive hoops by the Monks, as Saint Joseph's led, 48-42 with 9:23 left.
A hoop by Tom Ray (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) gave the visitors a six point lead, 50-44, at the five minute mark. Emmanuel senior Isaiah Duke (Albany, N.Y.) netted his 1,000th career point on a free throw and the Saints trailed, 52-47 with 3:08 remaining. Another baseline trifecta by Morgan made it a two point game with 2:12 to go.
O'Brien scored on the break for the Monks to put St. Joe's back on top by four, 54-50 with 1:46 on the game clock. A freebie by Everson then set the score at 54-51 with 1:23 to go. Saint Joseph's could not connect on a runner in the lane, but the Monks came up with a loose ball on the offensive rebound and signaled for a timeout with 6.1 ticks on the clock. Emmanuel quickly fouled, sending Petzy to the line for a one and one. The senior guard drained both free throws to put the game out of reach and the Monks came away with the 56-51 win.
The Monks posted a balanced scoring attack with Petzy's 12 points leading the way. O'Brien hit for 10 with six boards and five assists, while Matthew Medeiros (Westport, Mass.) and Noonan combined for 17.
Emmanuel received a career-high day from Morgan, who finished with 17 points, including knocking down five bids from behind the arc. Mailhot chipped in the 10 points and a game-high six assists, while Robinson hauled in a game-high 15 rebounds.
Emmanuel returns to the hardwood on Tuesday night, when the Saints host the Rams of Suffolk University in a 7:00 PM start. The Monks will travel to Lasell College on Tuesday night to take on the Lasers in an 8:00 PM start.