BOSTON, MA – Saint Joseph's (13-8, 12-2 GNAC) topped Emmanuel College (4-18, 2-13 GNAC), 78-67, in a GNAC men's basketball contest at the Jean Yawkey Center on Tuesday night. Senior guard Matthew Medeiros (Westport, Mass.) netted a career-high 32 points and the Monks shot 55.1% (27-49) from the field in the triumph.
The hosts jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead after a three-pointer from the top of the key by Kyle Smith (Los Angeles, Calif.), but the Monks – who have now won six-consecutive games - were able to tie things up at 7-all in the early-going. Consecutive triples from Zach Blodgett (Glenburn, Maine) and Steve Simonds (Steep Falls, Maine) were part of a 13-2 run by St. Joe's, putting the Monks up 15-9 six minutes into the game.
The Saints then manufactured an 11-3 run of their own. A put-back by James Sullivan (Wethersfield, Conn.) tied the game at 18-all and Lyndon Harewood (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored on the break to give EC a two-point edge nearing the ten-minute mark.
Monks guard Craig Luschenat (Boston, Mass.) drained a three from left wing and Medeiros buried another trifecta on the Monks' ensuing possession and was fouled on the play. The senior guard completed the four-point play and the visitors found themselves up 25-20.
Sullivan continued to heat up, scoring 12 of Emmanuel's first 25 points, as the Saints chipped away, trailing 27-25 with 7:30 remaining in the half. Sophomore forward John Clay (Westport, Mass.) stole the ball and scored on the break to tie things up, but Nicholas Jobin (Westbrook, Maine) hit a pair of freebies at the opposite end to return the advantage to the Monks.
SJC held a slim lead over the next four minutes, until Josh Welles (Philadelphia, Pa.) forged the fifth tie of the night with a free throw for EC with less than three minutes to go in the half. Sullivan picked a Monks guard at mid-court and layed the ball in to knot the game at 34-all, but Medeiros pulled up for his third triple of the half before time expired to give the Monks a 37-34 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.
Medeiros' 15 points led all scorers at halftime. Sullivan was the leader for the Saints with 14 points and 3 first-half rebounds. The opening half featured six ties and three lead changes and the Monks led the Saints on the glass, 18-15. Both teams shot well in the first twenty minutes with SJC going 13-26 (50%) and EC shooting 15-33 (45.5%).
Medeiros opened the second half with his fourth triple, putting St. Joe's up 40-34. This would spark a 14-3 run by the Monks, which included an and-one from Jobin, forcing a full-timeout by the Saints.
Tough Monks' defense held the Saints to just one field goal over the first eight minutes of second half action. Smith ended the drought for the Saints with a runner and Emmanuel trailed 53-39 with twelve minutes left.
The Saints then put together a 7-4 run to cut their deficit to eleven, before Medeiros dropped his fifth three of the night and EC trailed 60-46 with 7:56 to go. A three-ball from Sullivan helped the Saints get back to within ten-points at 67-57, before a pair of free throws by Medeiros pushed the spread back to twelve at the five-minute mark.
Emmanuel would cut the Monks' lead back to ten once more before it was over, but St. Joe's picked apart EC's late full-court pressure and tacked on points down the stretch. SJC held on for the 78-67 win to complete the two-game sweep of the Saints in 2014.
Medeiros would finish the night with his game-high 32 points, going 10-13 from the field, 6-8 from behind the arc and 6-7 from the stripe, while also dishing out a game0high 5 assists. Jobin added 20 points off of 8-13 shooting to go along with his game-high 9 rebounds. Simonds was the third double-figure scorer for St. Joe's, as the junior guard chipped in with 12 points in the win.
Sullivan neared his collegiate career-high, netting 23 points for his fourth-consecutive twenty-plus point game. Smith hit for 15 points and Harewood finished with 10 in the effort for Emmanuel.
The Saints will play host to the Raiders of Rivier University on Saturday (2/15) in a 3:00 PM start in the Jean Yawkey Center. The five seniors on the Emmanuel squad will be honored prior to the start of this game. St. Joe's returns to the court on Thursday evening (2/13), when the Monks travel to Newton, Mass. for a rescheduled contest with Mount Ida College. This game is slated to tip off at 6:00 PM.
COURTESTY OF EMMANUEL COLLEGE SPORTS INFORMATION
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.