STANDISH, Maine - Saint Joseph's College (8-2) rallied past UMaine-Farmington (6-3), 95-88, in an action packed non-conference men's basketball contest at the Harold Alfond Center on Thursday evening.
Senior guards Darian Berry (Rochester, N.H.) and Ian Mileikis (Auburn, Maine) combined to score 53 points, as the former netted 27 and the latter dropped 26, in what was the Monks' seventh-consecutive victory and first over UMaine-Farmington since the 2015-16 season.
THE REST OF THE STORY:
In a contest featuring 10 lead changes and four tie scores, the Monks claimed the advantage for good on the heels of an 18-2 run midway through the second half. Trailing 62-56 at the 15:19 mark, Berry bookended a Jack Casale (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) trifecta with a pair of his own in a matter of 61 seconds to lift his team to a 65-62 edge. Mileikis capped the outbreak with a traditional three-point play to extend the SJC lead to 74-64 with 11:04 remaining.
The Beavers fought back and cut their deficit down to 74-72 after junior forward Bill Ruby (Gorham, Maine) made a pair of freebies at the 8:24 mark, but the Monks countered with a 15-4 scoring surge to claim a game-high 13-point (89-76) cushion with 3:21 on the clock.
UMF made things interesting in the closing minutes, but SJC saw three players combine for a 6-6 effort from the FT line to clinch the victory.
With the aforementioned field goal at the 11:04 mark, Mileikis became the 40th member of the Monks' 1,000-Point Club. The senior captain entered the game with 977 career points and finished the game with 1,003 over 87 games.
Freshman guard Nicholas Curtis (Windham, Maine) was credited with the assist on the milestone bucket.
STATS OF THE GAME:
The Monks scored 22 points off 13 Beaver turnovers while committing a season low 10 turnovers on the night…Saint Joseph's posted 27 assists on 35 field goals and doubled up UMaine-Farmington – 12-6 – on three-point field goals…The Beavers shot a scorching 64.7% (22-34) from the field in the first half but cooled to the tune of a 42.9% (15-35) effort in the latter frame…The Monks shot 50% (17-34) before the break and 60% (18-30) – including a 5-8 performance from downtown – after.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Berry was 10-17 from the field with 27 points, five assists, and two rebounds
- Mileikis was 11-15 from the floor with 26 points, five boards, and four assists
- Senior forward Marc Corey (Londonderry, N.H.) added 16 points with five caroms and a pair of assists
- Casale was an all-around contributor with 14 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and three blocked shots
- Sophomore guard Tatsuaki Sakai (Ishikawa, Japan) chipped in with seven points and five assists
LEADERS – UMAINE-FARMINGTON:
- Junior guard Amir Moss (Portland, Maine) scored 24 points with nine rebounds
- Ruby tallied 19 points, nine rebounds, and five assists
- Junior forward Riley Robinson (Dixfield, Maine) chipped in with 17 points, four rebounds, five assists, and two steals
- Senior forward Milani Hicks (Scarborough, Maine) contributed 16 points and four caroms
- Junior guard Issac Witham (Smithfield, Maine) scored 12 points off a 5-10 shooting performance
With the win, Saint Joseph's is now 55-21 all-time versus UMaine-Farmington and tops the Beavers for the first time since November 23rd, 2015 when the Monks notched a 60-56 win in Farmington. Tonight's 95 points is the most SJC has scored versus UMF since the Monks posted a 100-77 triumph over the Beavers on November 25th, 1997.
The Monks are off until the final weekend of December when the team hosts the Catholic Classic Tournament. St. Joe's will play Rivier University at 1:00 PM on Saturday, December 29th and take on Emmanuel College the following day in a 3:00 PM tip-off.