BROOKLYN, N.Y. — In a rematch of last year's opening round matchup of last year's Skyline Conference Championship, the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team shrank an 11-point deficit to one in the final minute of play, but couldn't knock off preseason division Farmingdale State, 74-68, in both team's league opener. Sophomore Aaron Parra (Brooklyn, N.Y./Monsignor McClancy) lead three Bears in double figures with team highs of 15 points and nine rebounds.
- Final Score: Farmingdale State 74, St. Joseph's 68
- Records: Farmingdale State (2-2, 1-0), St. Joseph's (1-4, 0-1)
- Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Arena: The Hill Center
- SJC Starters: Willis (G), Sirakis (G), Idyahia (G), Parra (F), Meiner (F)
- St. Joseph's faced their largest deficit of the game at 4:03, but stormed back to pull within one, 69-68, with one minute to play. The Bears regained possession but a Kavan Meiner jumper to take the lead drew back rim and later trailing by three and Alec Willis trey attempt to tie fell short.
How it Happened
- St. Joseph's came out of the gates strong and pulled away to a 7-2 advantage sparked by five early points from Alec Wills. The Bears maintained the lead for much of opening half before a quick 5-0 spurt from the Rams gave the visitors their first lead at the 5:43 mark and the teams traded the lead four more times before entering the lockers deadlocked at 28-28.
- Both teams jostled for the lead in the second and neither team built more than a three-point cushion until Farmingdale used a 10-1 spurt sparked by a Trey Kinard four-point play and the Rams built a 61-52 lead with 5:30 to play.
- After the Rams extended their lead to 11 with 4:03 to go, the Bears chipped away at the deficit with the deep ball. Back to Back Dimitri Sirakis triples shank the visitor's advantage to six and later four points from Aaron Parra brought the Bears within one with one minute left, but the Bears couldn't get any of their remaining attempts to fall and the Rams pulled away from the stripe.
For the Bears
- Sophomore Aaron Parra tallied his third straight game in double figures with a team-high 15 points and falling one rebound shy of a double-double with nine boards and swatted away two shots.
- Making his first collegiate start, freshman Dimitri Sirakis logged his first double-figure game with 12 points behind 3-of-5 shooting from behind-the-arc.
- Fellow classmate and high school teammate Sebastien Etheart came off the bench to reach double digits for the first time with 11 points and seven caroms, also rejecting a pair of shots.
- Junior Alec Willis and senior Christian Giles added eight points each, with Giles handing out a team-high six assists.
Inside the Box Score
- The Bears improved on a 35 percent (10-29) shooting effort in the first half to 44 percent (12-29), but saw the Rams finish shooting 56 percent (15-27) over the final 20 and 6-of-9 from three-point land.
- The Rams controlled the battle on the glass with a 44-30 rebounding edge, but both teams remained equal in second-chance scoring, 12-12, and points off turnovers, 12-12.
- The game featured eight ties and 13 lead changes. The Bears held the lead for 18:36 and the Rams led for 13:10.
The Bear Facts
- Farmingdale was picked to win the South Division in the preseason Skyline Conference Coaches poll. When the teams last met, the Bears upset the Rams in the opening round of the Skyline Conference Championship in route to their run to the title game as a No. 6 seed.
Next up for St. Joseph's
The Bears will hit the road for two straight divisional contests returning to action on Saturday, December 3rd facing SUNY College at Old Westbury (0-5, 0-1) in a noon tilt. Live stats will be available on SJCBears.com.