HYDE PARK, N.Y. – The St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team overcame a slow start, led by the 15th double-double of the season by sophomore Michael Megafu (Brooklyn, N.Y./Nazareth Regional), to defeat Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) foe The Culinary Institute of America, 87-61 on Saturday afternoon at the Student Rec Center.
St. Joseph's (15-9, 7-0 HVIAC) concludes HVIAC play undefeated for the first time since the 2009-10 season and have won six of their last seven, while Culinary (5-10, 1-5 HVIAC) loses their ninth straight game.
Megafu added to his double-double total with 17 points and 10 rebounds, adding four assists and two steals to his stat line. Junior David Louison (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) poured in a game-high 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting and added seven rebounds and five steals.
Senior David Ortiz (Brooklyn, N.Y./Christ the King) contributed a season-high 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from downtown, while freshman Anthony Golaszewski (Marlboro, N.J./St. John Vianney) chipped in a career-high 11 points in ten minutes of action.
The Steels finished with two in double figures led by Avery Britton who recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Also reaching double digits was Ricardo Washington who netted 13 points and five rebounds.
The Bears started the game off with a bang as Ortiz nailed one of his four trifectas to give St. Joseph's a 3-0 lead 30 seconds into the game and it looked like St. Joseph's would not have any problems with the hosts.
Culinary had other plans responding with a 16-6 run to take a 16-9 lead with 13:31 left to play in the opening half, leaving the Bear stunned as the Steels were hot from the field hitting 56.0 percent of their first half attempts. Sophomore Greg Beehler (Breezy Point, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) would answer immediately with a triple of his own to start an 8-0 run that gave St. Joseph's the lead back at 17-16.
The teams would trade baskets over the next few minutes with the Steels taking a 25-24 lead with 8:22 left in the half. But once again the Bears responded, this time with a Francisco Escobedo (El Paso, Texas/Santa Teresa) three-pointer which started a 9-0 run and gave St. Joseph's the lead for good at 33-25 with 6:09 left. Culinary got within two, 35-33, at the 3:06 mark but the Bears finished the half on a 7-0 run to head into the lockers up 42-33.
The second half saw the Bears defense clamp down on Culinary, allowing the Steels to only shoot 33.3 percent in the second half, while St. Joseph's shot an improved 50.0 percent after halftime to increase their lead to as many as 28 points. The Bears outscored the Steels 45-28 in the second half, helped by a 13-3 run that increased the St. Joseph's lead to 72-48 with 7:59 left to play and would cruise the rest of the way.
After Culinary took a 25-24 lead with 8:22 left to play in the first half, the Bears responded with a 9-0 run that gave them the lead for good, 33-25, with 6:09 remaining. St. Joseph's would take a nine-point lead into halftime before coming out in the second half with a pair of Louison buckets to increase the lead to double figures where it remained for the rest of the day.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Other Contributors: Matt O'Neill (9 pts, 5 ast, 3 stl) Vernon Maddox (6 pts, 7 ast, 2 stl)
- With their improved shooting in the second half, St. Joseph's finished the day at 48.6 percent (36-of-74) shooting, while the Steels concluded at 44.2 percent (23-of-52).
- The Bears used 25 Culinary turnovers, helped by 16 steals, to earn a 36-6 edge in points off turnovers after only committing nine themselves.
- St. Joseph's held a 39-34 edge on the boards, including a 17-8 margin on the offensive glass which they turned into a 16-7 advantage in 2nd chance points.
- The Bears continued their dominance in the paint, outscoring the Steels 46-20 in the lane.
- St. Joseph's held a 14-4 edge in transition points and outscored the Culinary bench 29-16.
- Neither team shot the three-ball well with the Bears hitting only 21.4 percent (6-of-28) from long distance, while the Steels hit 30.0 percent (6-of-20).
THE BEAR FACTS
- The Bears are now 10-0 against the Steels since 2005.
- St. Joseph's improves to 5-6 in true road games this season.
- Megafu was ranked No. 4 in double-doubles in the latest NCAA Rankings released Friday.
NEXT UP FOR THE BEARS – John Jay
The Bears return home to face John Jay College on Tuesday, February 11th at 7:30 p.m. for Senior Night and their regular season finale.