STANDISH, ME – Emmanuel College (6-9, 5-3 GNAC) bested Saint Joseph's (10-4, 6-2 GNAC), 69-67, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's basketball action at the Harold Alfond Center on Thursday night. Monks sophomore forward Nicholas Jobin (Westbrook, Maine) scored a career-high 22 points off an 8-10 shooting effort in the loss.
Unfortunately, Jobin's point total – which was scored over 21 minutes coming off the bench – was for naught as the Monks were unable to outwork the Saints on the glass. Emmanuel out-rebounded St. Joe's by a 42-30 margin and scored a whopping 46 points in the paint, including 21 second-chance points, en route to the upset conference victory.
Saint Joseph's was ahead on the scoreboard for the vast majority of the first half and built a 22-13 advantage with an 8-0 run which was concluded with a Tom Ray '12 (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) jumper at the 8:50 mark of the opening frame.
An impressive dunk by Jobin on a fast break, in traffic, extended the SJC cushion to double digits for the first time as St. Joe's led 28-18 with 3:29 left in the first half. The Saints whittled away at their deficit over the subsequent two minutes and trailed by four, 30-26, when sophomore forward Theo Robinson (Springfield, Mass.) made a pair of free throws at the 1:45 mark.
With 37 seconds remaining in the first half sophomore guard Matthew Medeiros (Westport, Mass.) pushed his team back up by 10 with a three-pointer and a Ray freebie made the score 37-26 with three seconds before the break. Emmanuel senior forward Isaiah Duke (Albany, N.Y.) drilled a three-pointer as time expired to cut the SJC lead down to 37-29 heading into intermission.
Emmanuel junior swingman Xavier Everson (Rochester, N.Y.) led all first-half scorers with 12 points while Jobin paced the hosts with 11 in the opening period. In the first half, St. Joe's shot 51.9% from the floor, 27.3% from downtown, and 60% from the free throw line while Emmanuel shot 42.9% overall, 14.3% from long distance, and 66.7% from the charity stripe.
Momentum swing in the Saints' favor early in the second stanza as the visitors started the latter half on a 12-3 run and held their first lead, 41-40, since the opening minutes of the contest when sophomore guard Brandon Jones (Windsor, Conn.) closed the surge with a layup with 15:10 remaining.
The lead changed hands several times over the following two minutes. Jobin converted a traditional three-point play at the 12:29 mark to lift his team to a 47-43 advantage and the Monks would hold marginal leads until the 4:49 mark when Mailhot scored a layup to put his squad up by two, 58-56.
Ray knotted the contest with a jump shot on the next SJC possession and the Monks mustered a pair of one-point leads in the closing minutes, including a 65-64 edge after Jobin made two free throws with 1:45 on the game clock. The slim lead was quickly negated however, as an Everson layup 26 seconds later put the Saints up to stay and a Mailhot three pointer less than a minute later all but cemented the visitors' victory.
For the Monks, Medeiros netted 14, Chris Petzy '12 (Kensington, N.H.) added 12 points, Zach O'Brien '12 (Schenectady, N.Y.) recorded six points, and Clark Noonan '14 (Bangor, Maine) notched four points and six rebounds. Ray chipped in with five points and three caroms in the losing effort, which snapped a four-game winning streak for the Royal Blue.
For the Saints, Duke posted a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, Everson added 17 points, nine boards, four assists, three steals and a pair of blocks, and Mailhot netted 12 points. Robinson checked in with 11 points and four boards in the Emmanuel victory.
Overall, Saint Joseph's shot 44.4% (24-54) from the floor, 27.8% from three-point range, and 73.7% from the charity stripe while Emmanuel shot 45.2% (28-62) from the field, 22.2% (4-18) from long distance, and 64.3% (9-14) from the FT line on the night.
With the loss, Saint Joseph's falls to 9-2 in the history of the series with Emmanuel College. Prior to this evening, the Monks had defeated the Saints in nine consecutive meetings dating back to the 2007-08 campaign.
Both teams return to action on Saturday with contests versus conference opponents, as Saint Joseph's travels to Johnson & Wales and Emmanuel hosts cross-town rival Emerson College. Both games are slated to begin at 3:00 PM.
Saint Joseph's College, founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy, celebrates its Centennial year in 2012 with a theme of "Realize the Promise" – honoring our commitment to educating well-rounded graduates who combine career focus with classic liberal arts studies. A Private, Catholic, primarily residential, coeducational liberal arts institution, Saint Joseph's welcomes students of all ages and all faiths. The campus, located 18 miles northwest of Portland and just two hours from Boston, encompasses 350 acres along the shore of beautiful Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine. Enrollment ranges between 1,000 and 1,100 students annually. Saint Joseph's offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education, nursing and business fields in a value-centered environment.