PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. – Powered by the eighth straight double-double from sophomore Michael Megafu (Brooklyn, N.Y./Nazareth Regional), the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team defeated Valley Forge Christian College, 82-76, on Thursday night.
St. Joseph's (9-7) wins their second game in a row while Valley Forge (9-6) sees their three-game winning streak come to a halt.
Megafu continued his double-double ways with a game-high -tying 20 points on 9-of-13 (69.2 percent) shooting and 12 rebounds for his team-leading 11th on the year. Junior David Louison (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) added 18 points and eight rebounds.
Rounding out the quartet of Bears scoring in double figures were junior Vernon Maddox (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) who had a career-high 18 points, going 12-of-14 (85.7 percent) from the charity stripe and sophomore Matt O'Neill (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) who had 16 points and four steals.
Leading three players in double figures for the Patriots was Kevin Mack who had a game-high-tying 20 points.
The opening half saw hot shooting from both teams as St. Joseph's shot 58.1 percent (18-of-31) and Valley Forge connected on 48.3 percent (14-of-29) of their shots.
The action went back-and-forth for the entire first half with the teams trading baskets for the majority of the half. The Bears would use a 10-3 run to close the half and headed into the intermission with a 45-38 lead they would not relinquish, capped off by a trifecta from O'Neill at the end of the half that swung the momentum toward St. Joseph's entering the break.
The second half saw the Bears begin the frame on a 12-3 run and it looked like they would coast to their second straight win. However, the hosts had other plans as they used the crowd to help them get back in the game, cutting the St. Joseph's lead to 75-68 with 1:18 left to play.
That would be the closest the Patriots got as the Bears sealed the win at the charity stripe going 7-of-10 (70 percent) in the final minute to end any threat of a Valley Forge comeback.
For most of the first half the two teams traded baskets until St. Joseph's ended the half on 10-3 run that gave them the lead for good. The run was capped off by a pivotal trifecta from O'Neill that gave the Bears their largest lead of the half and gave St. Joseph's all the momentum heading into halftime.
The Bears would build off that momentum in the second half, taking a 57-41 lead with 15:26 left before Valley Forge battled back and cut the St. Joseph's lead to seven, 75-68 with just over a minute left. However, the Bears would fend off the comeback attempt by hitting their free throws at the end of the game.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Other Contributor: Chris Labady (7 pts, 2 reb, 2 stl)
- St. Joseph's ended the night shooting a season-best 53.6 percent (30-of-56) from the field while Valley Forge shot 43.3 percent (29-of-67). The Patriots had success from downtown going 9-of-19 (47.4 percent).
- Bears went 20-of-30 (66.7 percent) from the line compared to 9-of-13 (69.2 percent) by the Patriots
- Valley Forge held 42-32 edge on the glass which they parlayed into a 17-12 edge in 2nd chance points.
- St. Joseph's made a living in the paint, holding a 42-24 edge in points in the paint.
THE BEAR FACTS
- The Bears previous season-high in field goal percentage came against King's when they shot 51.6 percent.
- St. Joseph's evens up the all-time series at 1-1 after dropping the first ever meeting a year ago.
- Megafu's double-double is the 26th of his career.
- Maddox's previous career-high of 15 points came against King's on December 3rd and at St. Joseph's (L.I.) last season.
NEXT UP FOR THE BEARS
The Bears have a quick turnaround as they travel to York tomorrow for a 7 p.m. tip-off.