NEW LONDON, Conn.–The St. Joseph's (Brooklyn) men's basketball team will compete in the Connecticut College/Coast Guard Invitational this weekend in New London, Connecticut. The Bears will open play vs. co-hosts Connecticut College on Saturday, December 6 at 8 p.m. Depending on the outcome of this game, they will compete in the tournament final or a consolation match on December 7 against either Coast Guard Academy or Worcester State.
Opening Round Opponent: Connecticut College (2-3, 0-0 NESCAC)
Date/Time: Saturday, December 6 • 8:00 p.m.
Location: New London, Conn.
Arena: Roland Hall (Coast Guard Academy)
Consolaton/Championship Opponent: Coast Guard (4-2, 0-0 NEWMAC) or Worcester State (1-4, 0-0 MASCAC)
Date/Time: Sunday, December 7 • TBA
Location: New London, Conn.
Arena: Luce Field House (Connecticut College)
Coverage: Live stats | Video (Links to be added after Saturday's games)
St. Joseph's: Roster | Schedule | Statistics | Misc. Stats
Connecticut College: Roster | Schedule | Statistics
Coast Guard: Roster | Schedule | Statistics
Worcester State: Roster | Schedule | Statistics
- St. Joseph's dropped to 5-2 on Thursday night, losing a hard-fought road contest 82-79 to undefeated Mount Saint Vincent.
- David Louison managed to stretch his double-double streak to seven games in a losing effort, securing 15 points and equaling his season-high with 18 boards. Louison is averaging 16.9 points and a team-high 13.4 rebounds.
- Michael Megafu recorded his fifth double-double of the season against MSV, finishing with a team-best 21 points and a personal season-high 17 boards. Megafu is leading the team in scoring (17.0) and is now averaging a double-double alongside Louison after his 17-rebound performance pushed his season average to 10.6.
- Louison needs 29 rebounds to reach 1000 for his career while Megafu needs 70 points to join the 1000-point scoring club.
- Matt O'Neill is sizzling from beyond the arc, connecting on 8-of-12 in the Bears' last two contests.
- Connecticut College, the Bears' opening-round opponent, will enter Saturday holding a 2-3 record and looks to snap a two-game losing streak.
- Senior Bo McKinley leads Connecticut in scoring (14.5) and assists (2.8). His young supporting cast consists of freshman Lee Messier (14.4 ppg), freshman Isaiah Robinson (11.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and sophomore Zuri Pavlin (10.8 ppg, 12.4 rpg).
This will be the first meeting in history between St. Joseph's and all three schools in the tournament.
The Bear Facts
The 5-2 Bears will look to rebound from a tough loss on Thursday night and return to their winning ways in Connecticut. They'll be led by double-double machines David Louison (16.9 ppg, 13.4 rpg) and Michael Megafu (17.0 ppg, 10.6 rpg).
Matt O'Neill (13.9 ppg) is coming off three consecutive double-digit scoring performances and continues to pose a major threat from beyond the arc, converting on 45 percent (18-40) from long-range distance this season and making 8-of-12 in his last two games. The junior is also averaging a team-high in steals (2.7) and is tied with Vernon Maddox for the lead in assists (3.4). Maddox, the fourth Bears player averaging double-digit scoring (12.4), is fresh off his two best offensive performances of the season, including a career-high 23 points against Southern Virginia on November 29 and another 16 on Thursday.
Bears Last Time Out
St. Joseph's suffered their second loss of the season on Thursday night, dropping a hard-fought road contest, 82-79, to undefeated Mount Saint Vincent. Junior Michael Megafu led all Bears scorers with 21 points and corralled a season-high 17 rebounds, with 10 of them coming on the offensive end. Senior David Louison kept his double-double streak alive, securing 15 points and equaling his season-high with 18 boards to extend the impressive streak to seven games. Matt O'Neill contributed a 19-point effort, connecting on 4-of 8 from downtown.
Down by three points in the waning seconds, O'Neill was given an opportunity to test his hot-hand and send the game to overtime, but his contested three-point attempt at the buzzer rimmed out and Mount Saint Vincent secured the dramatic comeback win.
The NCAA Division III active career leader David Louison is just 29 rebounds away from securing his 1000th career rebound and would be the first Bear in the 1000-point, 1000-rebound club. The senior also is the Division III active career leader in double-doubles with 47 double-doubles, also good for second across all three divisions.
Junior Michael Megafu needs just 70 points to gain membership in the coveted 1000-point scoring club currently averaging 14.8 points per game in 63 career games played. Despite only being a junior, Megafu follows Louison closely at No. 2 in the active career leaders in double-doubles with 37.
Getting Over the Hump
The 2-3 Camels will enter Saturday on a two-game losing streak. Connecticut is coming off five consecutive losing seasons including a 9-14 finish last year. They are helmed by 13-year Head Coach Tom Satran who will look to steer the Camels back on course as they prepare to co-host the Citizens Bank Tournament alongside Coast Guard Academy.
Bo McKinley leads Connecticut in scoring (14.5) and assists (2.8). The junior is connecting on 39.3 percent (11-28) from beyond the arc. Along with McKinley, freshman Lee Messier has provided his team with a consistence long-range threat, draining 36.1 percent (13-36) from three while averaging 14.4 ppg.
Freshman Isaiah Robinson (11.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and sophomore Zuri Pavlin (10.8 ppg, 12.4 rpg) control the glass for the Camels and round out four players averaging double-figure scoring.
Connecticut College Last Time Out
Connecticut fell to Clark University 87-80 on Tuesday. The Camels were led by Bo McKinley, who poured in a game-high 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field and 5-of-8 from long distance. The junior also added four rebounds and four assists. Freshman Lee Messier contributed 15 points for Connecticut and fellow first-year player Isaiah Robinson narrowly missed out on a double-double with nine points and 10 boards. Sophomore Zuri Pavlin grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to go along with seven points.
Coast Guard enters the 2014-15 campaign looking to bounce back from six straight losing seasons, including a 5-20 finish last year and a 2-21 finish in 2012-13. The Bears have been moving in a positive direction with a 4-2 start and were crowned champions of Moe's Queso Classic on November 22. Sixth-year Head Coach Kevin Jaskiewicz will look to build on this encouraging start and reclaim some past success, having led the Bears to back-to-back NEWMAC Tournament championships in 2006-07 and 2007-08 as well as a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament in both those seasons.
Coast Guard is led by third-year player Kevin Alvarez, who leads the team with a 16.8 ppg average. The junior also ranks second on the team with 6.0 rpg. Senior David Anderson is averaging 13.2 points while securing a team-high 7.8 boards.
Coast Guard Last Time Out
Coast Guard held off Mitchell 91-82 on Wednesday in a non-conference game between two New London schools. Junior Kevin Alvarez dropped a career-high 30 points while senior David Anderson also scored a career-best with 26. The lead changed hands six times in the final 8:21 but the Bears were able to make keys plays down the stretch to win a back-and-forth thriller and improve to 4-2, bouncing back from a previous OT loss to Salve Regina on November 25.
A Knights' Tale
The 1-4 Lancers have not finished with a winning record since 2004-05 but have been flirting with ending the streak, coming off two consecutive 12-14 seasons. Dave Lindberg just entered his 21st year as Head Coach of the men's basketball team. A 1991 graduate of Worcester State, Coach Lindberg was a three-year starter and captain for the Lancers.
Worcester began the season on the right foot, defeating Becker 69-51 in the opening round of the Wesleyan Tip-Off Tournament on November 15. The Lancers lost 61-60 in the Championship final as well as their subsequent three games and will enter this weekend's tournament holding a 1-4 record looking to put a halt to their four-game losing streak.
Senior Brendan Rios leads the Lancers in scoring, averaging 12.0 ppg while also pulling down 4.6 rpg. Sophomore Paul Brooks is flirting with a double-double average, scoring 10.8 points and securing a team-best 8.8 boards. Sophomore Marquez McKreith-Collins (10.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg) rounds out three players averaging double-figure scoring for Worcester.
Worcester State Last Time Out
On Tuesday, the Lancers dropped their fourth consecutive game and fell to 1-4 after losing 87-61 to UMass Dartmouth. Worcester sophomore Paul Brooks fell just shy of a double-double, finishing with 12 points and nine boards. Fellow sophomore Jeremy Bacon collected nine points and seven rebounds while senior Charles Gunter stuffed the stat sheet with six points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks in a losing effort.
Next Up for the Bears
The Bears will return home for the grand opening of The Hill Center on Thursday, December 18 as the Bears will welcome sibling rivals and future Skyline Conference rivals St. Joseph's (L.I.) for the annual East vs. West matchup. The Bears will headline the primetime doubleheader at 7:30 p.m. looking for their third straight win over the Eagles. Live stats and video will be available on SJCBears.com.