WASHINGTON, D.C. – Saint Joseph's College (4-5, 3-0 GNAC) suffered a 68-65 setback at the hands of Misericordia University (5-5, 0-2 MAC) in the Holiday Inn College Park Classic Tournament at Catholic University on Saturday afternoon. Senior forward Nicholas Jobin (Westbrook, Maine) netted a game-high 23 points and made nine of 12 shots from the field in the losing effort.
In a contest that featured nine lead changes and three tie scores, ball security would be the difference as Misericordia committed just seven turnovers and scored 25 points off 15 Saint Joseph's miscues on the afternoon. The Monks shot well from the field, posting a 54.3% (25-46) efficiency rate, but could not overcome the points-off-turnovers discrepancy.
Misericordia cemented the victory by shooting 87.5% (14-16) from the free throw line while recording a 20-8 lead in bench points in the victory. With the narrow win, the Cougars will face the SUNY-Cortland/Catholic University winner in the tournament championship at 4:00 PM on Sunday. Saint Joseph's faces the loser of the Cortland/Catholic contest – which tipped off this afternoon after the Monks' tilt versus the Cougars – in the consolation game tomorrow at 2:00 PM.
Saint Joseph's led 30-21 after Matthew Medeiros (Westport, Mass.) connected on a three-pointer with 59 seconds remaining in the first half and carried a 30-26 cushion into intermission. The Monks looked to put the game away early in the second stanza, as the Royal Blue raced out of the locker room to the tune of an 11-4 run en route to securing a game-high 11-point advantage. Medeiros nailed a trifecta 3:59 into the second half to lift St. Joe's to the double-digit (41-30) lead.
As it played out, the Monks failed to find the scoreboard for nearly six minutes – a spell during which the Cougars changed the complexion of the contest by way of an impressive 20-0 outburst. Junior guard Anthony Sergio (Harleysville, Pa.) closed out the scoring onslaught with a three to lift Misericordia to a 50-41 cushion with 10:25 remaining.
Unfazed, Saint Joseph's quickly fought back into contention and trailed by three, 57-54, when Medeiros netted a layup off a Jerome Diggs (Washington, D.C.) feed five minutes later. The Monks maintained at worst a two-possession deficit for the duration and cut the Cougars' lead to 64-63 when junior guard Steve Simonds (Steep Falls, Maine) drained a three-pointer with 1:02 on the game clock.
Misericordia proceeded to put the game on ice with a Steve Ware (Lorton, Va.) jumper and a pair of Matt Greene (Hokendauqua, Pa.) free throws in the closing 30 seconds. Diggs converted a layup for the Monks – who went 4-8 from the FT line as a team in the final eight minutes - at the buzzer to account for the 68-65 final score.
For the Monks, Medeiros was 6-11 from downtown and scored 20 points, Simonds chipped in nine points and four rebounds, Diggs added six points and a career-high eight assists and Jordan Tripp (Maspeth, N.Y.) contributed five points, four assists and a pair of caroms in the losing bid.
Four players reached double-digits for the Cougars, a quartet led by junior forward Cael Evans (Nanticoke, Pa.), who netted 13 with eight boards. Ware scored 11 while Greene and Erik Kerns (Appalachian, N.Y.) tallied 10 points apiece for Misericordia.
Today's contest was the Monks' first-ever versus Misericordia University, a liberal arts based, co-educational Catholic institution located in Dallas, Pennsylvania…with the result, Saint Joseph's falls to 6-8 all-time versus opponents from the Keystone State and is now 1-2 in team history against Middle Atlantic Conference foes…as an institution, St. Joe's is now 4-2 all-time against Misericordia with the last meeting between the Catholic colleges having taken place on March 7th, 2008 when the SJC baseball team toppled the Cougars' nine by a 16-7 score…with his fourth three-pointer of the contest, Medeiros became the second player in SJC men's basketball history to net 200 career trifectas…the senior surpassed former teammates Tyler Kelley '11 and Chris Petzy '12 – both of whom made 199 from downtown during their respective careers – on the all-time list and is currently second in program history behind only Stephen Chase '93, who drained 311 during his four seasons.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 430-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.