STANDISH, Maine – Saint Joseph's College (11-3, 1-1 GNAC) toppled Albertus Magnus College (9-5, 1-1 GNAC), 104-85, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's basketball matchup at the Harold Alfond Center on Thursday night.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Albertus Magnus jumped out to an early lead and held a 16-9 advantage after making 7-of-8 shots in the opening three minutes, but Saint Joseph's came to life with a 23-4 outburst over the following seven minutes to secure a 32-20 cushion with 10:03 left in the first half.
As it played out, the lead change proved to be the final swap of the evening, but the Falcons cut their deficit to single digits and trailed 51-45 after senior guard Ryan Pittman (Stratford, Conn.) hit a three-pointer with 15 seconds before the break.
Albertus Magnus made it a one-possession game after freshman forward Rayshawn Brewer (New Haven, Conn.) converted layups on consecutive trips down the floor, that latter of which saw the visitors draw to within three points, 54-51, with 17:29 on the clock.
Saint Joseph's proceeded to claim a double-digit lead on the heels of a 21-7 run, as a pair of freebies from sophomore guard Jack Casale (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) lifted the hosts to a 75-61 advantage with 12:04 left.
The Monks went on to post a game-high 20-point lead after senior guard Darian Berry (Rochester, N.H.) made a layup to lift his team to a 100-80 cushion with 3:24 remaining.
After making a layup with 4:07 left in the second half, senior guard Darian Berry (Rochester, N.H.) became the 41st member of the Monks' 1,000-Point Club. Berry entered the contest needing 18 points to hit the mark and finished the night with 21.
Berry joins classmate Ian Mileikis (Auburn, Maine) – who surpassed the four-digit mark in a win over UMaine-Farmington on December 13th - in the select group and is the 13th player to hit the 1,000-point mark since Head Coach Rob Sanicola '99 took the reins of the program in 2004.
Freshman David Keohan (West Newfield, Maine) was credited with the assist on Berry's milestone field goal.
STATS OF THE GAME:
Saint Joseph's shot 59.4% (41-69) from the floor in tonight's win, the team's best shooting rate this season and top shooting effort since posting a 66.7% (48-72) mark in a 118-81 win over University of New England on December 30th, 2017…The Monks dealt 31 assists on 41 made field goals.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Casale notched his sixth double-double of the season with 28 points and 10 rebounds and added four assists
- Mileikis scored 26 points with four boards and six assists
- Berry netted 21 points with three assists and three steals
- Senior forward Marc Corey (Londonderry, N.H.) was 3-5 from downtown with 11 points, seven assists, and five rebounds
LEADERS – ALBERTUS MAGNUS:
- Junior forward Damian Grant (Waterbury, Conn.) scored 25 points off a 10-13 shooting performance with six rebounds
- Sophomore guard Tyreek Perkins (New Haven, Conn.) netted 15 points with four assists
- Pittman contributed nine points, five boards, and three assists
With the victory, Saint Joseph's improves to 10-15 all-time versus Albertus Magnus College. Tonight's winning margin of 19 points – the largest margin posted by SJC in the history of the series - matches the Monks' 74-55 winning spread on February 1st, 2014.
Saint Joseph's will host University of Saint Joseph in a conference matchup at 3:00 PM on Saturday. The meeting between the Monks and Blue Jays will be the first-ever in men's basketball action, as USJ – formerly a women-only university – is in its first year as a co-educational institution.