FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
#7 USJ 95, #2 SUFFOLK 84
BOSTON, Mass — The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's basketball team faced off with a familiar foe in Suffolk University (SU) for the second time in five days, only this time, with a shot at the GNAC Semifinals on the line. USJ controlled the second half to the very end, knocking off the two seed Suffolk Rams (18-8), 95-84, inside Regan Gymnasium Tuesday night.
The Blue Jays (15-11) along with head coach Jim Calhoun, advance to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Semifinals in their first-ever men's basketball season. They will play at Saint Joseph's (ME) on Thursday at 7:00 PM.
Freshman guard Delshawn Jackson Jr. (Hartford, Conn.) was on-point from start to finish, scoring a game-high 24 points (11-18 FG). He had only one turnover in 38 minutes. Freshman guard Chris Childs (Bronx, N.Y.) scored 22 on an efficient 6-for-9 from the floor (3-4 3FG), and a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Five Blue Jays reached double figures on the night, including freshman forward Noreaga Davis (Bridgeport, Conn.), who also had eight rebounds. Junior guard Thomas Duffy (Fairfield, Conn.) left it all on the floor with 21 hard-earned points (12-13 FT). The Blue Jays did their best to make him earn it, shooting just 4-for-15 from the field. He also had five assists. Sophomore guard Alex Jacovides (Tampa, Fla.) once again had big numbers off the bench with 20 (4-9 3FG).
USJ shot nearly 60% on the game (35-59 FG) and 67% from three (8-12 3FG). They also shot 17-for-21 from the FT line (81%), after averaging 68% from the line in the regular season. Saint Joe's stayed patient, as they made their run to close it out in the final five and a half minutes.
Semifinal opponent Saint Joseph's College (ME) defeated third-seeded Johnson & Wales on the road Tuesday in the quarterfinals, 83-80. USJ lost at SJC, 98-87, back on January 12.
You could not have asked for more as a fan, as both teams went pound for pound through the first ten minutes. A three from freshman forward Ryan O'Neill (Litchfield, Conn.) broke a 9-9 tie. Junior forward Steven DiPrizio (Medford, Mass.) answered with a quick layup. After a turnover and defensive stop, it was Jackson Jr.'s turn. A knockdown jump shot, followed by a pair of Davis free throws, gave the Blue Jays a 16-11 lead. Jacovides came right back with a layup, and DiPrizio converted on an and-one to tie it up, 16-16 with 10:13 left in the first half.
Jackson Jr.'s confidence and versatility were on display late in the half, as he not only converted from mid-range, but he also took it back behind the three-point line for his only triple of the night. An assist from freshman guard Brad Landry (Wallingford, Conn.) gave the Blue Jays a 27-24 lead with 5:56 left in the first half, and a timeout for Suffolk.
The Rams stayed aggressive on the offensive end, and it paid off going into the locker room, as DiPrizio and senior guard Michael Hagopian (Watertown, Mass.) found ways to put the ball in the hoop. Duffy converted several times from the line in the final six minutes, and Jacovides sank a cold-blooded three with six seconds left in the half to give the Rams a slim 41-40 lead.
You could sense the pressure begin to build the longer the game remained tight. It seemed that the first team to take a seven or eight point lead was going to find a way to close it out. Despite another and-one for Hagopian (this time on a jumper) to give the Rams their largest lead of the night, the Blue Jays continued to have an answer, preventing any big run from starting. Davis cleaned up on the offensive glass and converted on a layup, while Jackson Jr. was able to knock down another jumper.
Freshman forward Jake Sullivan (Branford, Conn.) was the X-Factor in the second half, leading the team in scoring with 15 of his 17 in the second. He did it on perfect 5-for-5 shooting, including three triples. Sullivan tied the game, 47-47 with 18:14 to play. Jackson Jr. and Childs added in five for an 8-0 run. The Rams came right back with six straight points to take a 53-52 lead with 15:00 to go. The lead changed hands five times over the next ten minutes, as both teams made big-time shots with a spot in the semis up for grabs. A pair of DiPrizio foul shots kept the lead at one, 70-69 USJ, with 5:34 to go.
It was go time for the Blue Jays. If they were going to pull this off, they needed to make a run. Insert Sullivan, who despite his shooting woes as of late (10-37 FG the last five games), he managed to play his best (and most gutsy) game of the year with the lights shining bright. Sullivan led a 19-10 run over the next four minutes to cap off nothing short of a spectacular win on the road to advance to the GNAC Semis. Sullivan scored 10 of the 19 in the run (two threes, two layups). Jackson Jr. and Childs also connected from their usual spots. Clutch free throws down the stretch prevented any miracle, and USJ walked out of Boston with their most satisfying victory of the season.
Courtesy of USJ Athletics Communications.
#6 SJC 83, #3 JWU 80
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Sixth-seeded Saint Joseph's College (19-7) upset #3 Johnson & Wales University (13-13), 83-80, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Men's Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal on Tuesday night.
With the victory Saint Joseph's advances to the second round of the GNAC tourney for the first time since 2015 and will host #5 University of Saint Joseph (15-11) in a semifinal matchup on Thursday at 7:00 PM. The Blue Jays picked up their first men's basketball postseason victory with an upset 95-84 win at #4 Suffolk University in other second-round action this evening.
With the loss, the Wildcats' hopes of winning consecutive GNAC Championships are dashed as their 2018-19 season comes to a close.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Monks came out firing and held a 25-11 lead after senior guard Darian Berry (Rochester, N.H.) made a layup with 11:33 left in the first half. The Wildcats whittled away at the deficit and cut the SJC cushion down to six points (37-31) when junior guard Brian Hogan-Gary (Staten Island, N.Y.) dunked on a fast break to cap a 10-5 surge just over five minutes later.
Saint Joseph's countered with a 14-7 run during the remainder of the opening frame and carried a 51-38 advantage into intermission.
The Monks extended their lead to a game-high 22 points when senior guard Jack Hostetler (Somers, Conn.) netted a three-pointer with 14:14 left in the contest. The night was far from over however, as the Wildcats cut the SJC cushion down to single digits on the heels of a 15-4 run with a Randall Ferdinand (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) layup making it a 75-68 game with 4:55 left.
Sophomore guard Jack Casale (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) drilled a three-pointer 65 seconds later to lift his team to an 80-70 lead, but Johnson & Wales responded with eight straight points as senior forward Matt Madoian (North Kingstown, R.I.) nailed a trifecta with 1:35 remaining to make it a one-possession game (80-78).
On the Wildcats' next trip down the floor, Casale forced a turnover and senior guard Ian Mileikis (Auburn, Maine) was fouled and made both freebies to extend the SJC edge to 82-78 with 53 seconds left. Hostetler was 1-for-2 from the line to make it an 83-78 game with 12 seconds left and Hogan-Gary made a layup seven seconds later, but the Wildcats' surge proved to be too little, too late.
STATS OF THE GAME:
Three-point shooting proved to be the difference, as the Monks made 15-of-32 attempts from downtown for a 46.9% clip while the Wildcats shot just 29.4% (5-17) in the narrow setback.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
· Berry netted 25 points with eight rebounds and three assists
· Casale posted his 10th double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds
· Mileikis added 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting
· Hostetler added 10 points off the bench
LEADERS – JOHNSON & WALES:
· Hogan-Gary led all players with 32 points and added eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals
· Ferdinand poured in 18 points off an 8-for-11 shooting effort with eight boards
· Sophomore guard Donovian Maxfield (York, Pa.) chipped in with 13 points, six assists, four caroms, and three steals
Courtesy of SJC Athletics Communications.
#4 EMMANUEL 90, #5 COLBY-SAWYER 83
The guard duo of Emmett Riddick (Middletown, Conn.) and Joe Tamburro (So. Windsor, Conn.) combined for 47 points and nine of the 17 total assists for the Emmanuel College Saints in a quarterfinal Great Northeast Athletic Conference victory over the Colby-Sawyer Chargers, 90-83, Tuesday evening on the Andy Yosinoff Court.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Chargers were able to go up by ten points early in the first half with triples by junior forward Patrick Coffey and sophomore guard Jake Carrier (Manchester, N.H.), but the Saint's sophomore trio of Marcus Fox (Danbury, Conn.), Zachary Crisafulli (Easthampton, Mass.) and Jack Moulder(Newtown, Conn.) all hit shots to close the lead to two, down 15-13.
- While Colby-Sawyer continued to own the paint through the first half with dominant play by big men Dana Bean (Franklin, N.H.) and KJ Synvrit (Miami, Fla.), the Saints continued to utilize the hot hand with efficient play by seniors Isaiah Ruffen(Haverhill, Mass.) and Joe Tamburro (So. Windsor, Conn.,) tying the game with five and a half minutes left in the half, 29-29.
- The Saints were finally able to take the lead after Ruffen collected an offensive rebound and finished with a layup, 31-29, but the Chargers' offensive power in the paint kept them even with EC through the remainder of the first half closing out tied at 40 apiece.
- Colby-Sawyer scored the first four points of the half, but Emmanuel came back to score eight in a row, five of which were scored by junior guard Emmett Riddick (Middletown, Conn.), 48-44, but EC's momentum couldn't change the game plan of the Chargers' below the basket strength, keeping the game close, 54-53.
- The Saints upperclassmen took charge through the middle of the second half with Riddick and Tamburro attacking the rim despite the size of the Charger's forwards, 71-65, but a triple by Terrence Harvey Jr. (Smyrna, Ga.) and layup by Bean kept Colby Sawyer close with four minutes left in the game, 75-72.
- Both teams were in the double bonus late in the game, sending both teams to the free throw line often, but late game shots by Riddick and Crifafulli sent the Saints to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference semi-final, 90-83.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Riddick recorded a team-high 26 points along with three rebounds and four assists, going an almost perfect 11-12 from the free throw line.
- Coffey finished with a game-high 28 points for the Chargers with four rebounds, four steals and two assists
- With tonight's victory, EC recorded the second most wins in a season in program history with 18 wins.
- While the season is over for the Chargers, the Emmanuel College Saints will be on the road on Thursday in the GNAC Semifinals against top-ranked Albertus Magnus College (7:00 PM)
Courtesy of EC Athletics Communications.
#1 ALBERTUS 99, #8 LASELL 79
New Haven, Conn. – Freshman Davon Warner (New Haven, Conn.) of the Albertus Magnus College men's basketball team scored a game-high 23 points as the Falcons cruised past eighth-seeded Lasell College, 99-79, Tuesday evening at "The Nest" in a quarterfinal game of the 2019 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Lasell controlled the opening three minutes of play as the Lasers took a two-point lead, 7-5, following a made layup from Vic Collazo.
- A free throw from Tyreek Perkins (New Haven, Conn.) and two free throws from Jahmerikah Green-Younger (Norwalk, Conn.) gave the Falcons the one-point edge, 8-7, less than a minute later.
- The Falcons found themselves up three, 22-19, midway through the half, before going on a 21-4 run that pushed their lead to 20, 43-23, with 4:40 remaining.
- Lasell closed out the half scoring only eight points and would remain trailing the hosts, 53-31, at the half.
- Kevin Nunez gave the Lasers a little jolt to start off the second as the shooting guard brought the visitors to within 19, 55-36, on a made layup.
- However, Albertus went on another scoring run to take a commanding lead, 87-50, with 8:47 left in regulation.
- From that point on, the Lasers were unable to get a rally going and saw its postseason run come to an end.
- Davon Warner – 23 Points (9-18 FG, 5-10 3PT) |5 rebounds | 2 assists | 2 steals
- Tyreek Perkins – 16 Points (6-8 FG, 3-5 3PT, 1-2 FT) | 1 rebound | 2 assists | 1 steal
- Jahmerikah Green-Younger – 10 points (3-9 FG, 0-3 3PT, 4-4 FT) | 1 rebound | 2 assists | 4 steals
- Rayshawn Brewer (New Haven, Conn.) – 5 points (2-6 FG, 1-2 FT) | 12 rebounds | 1 assists | 3 blocks
- Stefan Masciarelli – 33 Points | 2 rebounds | 2 assists
- Kevin Nunez – 15 Points | 3 rebounds | 2 assists | 1 steal
The top-seeded Falcons will host fourth-seeded Emmanuel College on Thursday, February 21 in the semifinals at 7:00 PM.
Courtesy of Albertus Athletics Communications.
The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.
– #TheGNAC –