NEWTON, MA – Saint Joseph's (10-3, 6-1 GNAC) defeated Mount Ida College (4-9, 1-5 GNAC), 60-41, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's basketball contest on Monday night. Senior guard Zach O'Brien (Schenectady, N.Y.) netted a game-high 19 points in what counted as the Monks' fourth-consecutive victory.
St. Joe's held a lead for all but the first possession of the game and set the tone early with a 15-2 run that helped the Monks take a 34-15 cushion into halftime. Mount Ida managed to merely play even with Saint Joseph's in the second stanza as the visitors headed back to Maine with a comfortable 19-point triumph in tow.
The Monks held their largest lead, 21 points (38-17), of the night after sophomore forward Nicholas Jobin (Westbrook, Maine) connected on a pair of free throws 4:56 into the second stanza. The Mustangs would cut their deficit down to 15 points late in the contest, but Jobin came through with two more freebies and closed the game scoring on a thunderous dunk with 48 seconds left to seal the lopsided victory.
The Monks were hot offensively from all over as the visitors were perfect (11-11) from the charity stripe and shot 45% (9-20) from downtown in the 19-point win. The Mustangs struggled to find a rhythm from outside at 14% and shot just 32% from the floor for the game.
Senior captain Travis Hillery (Tyngsboro, Mass.) led the Mustangs offensively for the night with 15 points and added five caroms in the loss. Senior Jeffrey McNair (Brockton, Mass.) chipped in seven points and seven rebounds and senior captain Isiah Benjamin (Windsor, Conn.), Mount Ida's top offensive player, was in foul trouble early and contributed only seven points and three assists.
Senior guard Chris Petzy (Kensington, N.H.) knocked down five trifectas and tallied 17 points and Jobin chipped in with 12 points on the night. First-year forward Zach Blodgett (Glenburn, Maine) added five points in seven minutes of playing time for Saint Joseph's.
After surrendering the opening bucket to the Mustangs, The Monks capitalized on a 21-6 run through the next 15 minutes of play, led mostly by O'Brien and Petzy, commanding a 21-9 advantage with no answer from the hosts.
Through the final five ticks of the opening stanza the Monks blew open a 19-point lead and closed the half on a four-point play from O'Brien, who was fouled while in the act of making a shot from downtown.
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 10-0 in the history of the series with Mount Ida College. Tonight's offensive output by the Mustangs is the fewest Mount Ida has scored in 10 tilts versus St. Joe's.
For Saint Joseph's - which held Norwich University to just 32 points on Saturday - the 73 total points allowed in back to back contests is the fewest in the 42-year history of the SJC men's basketball program.
Mount Ida will travel to GNAC member Emerson College Thursday evening with game time slated for 7:00 p.m. St. Joe's will head home and host Emmanuel College in league action the same night with tip-off at 7:00 p.m.
THANKS IN PART TO MOUNT IDA COLLEGE SPORTS INFORMATION