Four in Double Figures Not Enough for Men's Basketball to Upend Purchase

Christian Giles posted game highs of 19 points and seven assists.
Christian Giles posted game highs of 19 points and seven assists.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Despite a season- and game-high 19 from Christian Giles (East Elmhurst, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) leading four in double figures, the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team couldn't keep pace with the highest scoring team in the league dropping an 87-79 decision to Purchase College on Tuesday night in Skyline Conference action at The Hill Center. 

The Basics

  • Final Score: Purchase 87, St. Joseph's 79
  • Records:  Purchase (11-4, 5-2), St. Joseph's (4-11, 1-6),  
  • Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Arena: The Hill Center
  • SJC Starters: Willis (G), Giles (G), St. Etheart (F), Parra (F), Meiner (F) 

Turning Point

  • A 13-3 Panther spurt in just under four minutes built a 16-point lead with six minutes to play, the largest separation of the game for either squad.

How it Happened

  • St. Joseph's came out of the gates firing and jumped out to a 7-0 lead after buckets from Stephane Etheart, Aaron Parra and a Christian Giles trey. Giles remained the hot man and nailed three trifectas in the first five minutes to help keep the Bears on top.
  • The visitors responded with eight straight points to take the lead and continued 15-2 spurt, fueled by Michael Soffer's eight points, to build a 10-point lead. But Matt McQuillen's trey sparked nine straight points for the Bears in less than two minutes to pull back within one and they faced a 48-44 deficit at the intermission.
  • St. Joseph's hung around and maintained the deficit at single digits for most of the second half. A highlight reel steal and breakaway dunk from Stephane Etheart brought the Bears within two, 58-56, just four minutes into the new period, but St. Joseph's could never get any closer.
  • With the Bears trailing by six just past the midway point of the half, suddenly found themselves down 16 with six minutes left and Purchase holding all the momentum after a Tarik Allicock dunk and a Max Pearce three-pointer.
  • St. Joseph's responded with nine straight sparked by Joseph Idyahia's five points and the Bears threatened to pull within one possession, but the closest they would get is five and Purchase maintained their separation shooting 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.

For the Bears

  • Christian Giles led all scorers with 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting and also handed out a game-high seven assists. He was one basket shy of his career best but set a new high wearing a Bears jersey.
  • Stephane Etheart had 13 points with team-high-tying eight rebounds. He shared team-high honors with his brother Sebastien Etheart who set a new career best and added two points.
  • Sophomore Joseph Idyahia came off the bench to add 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting.
  • Sophomore Aaron Parra rounded out four in double figures with 11 points, six rebounds, and two assists.

Inside the Box Score

  • St. Joseph's shot 43 percent (28-65) while Purchase connected on 40 percent (31-78).
  • Entering as the league leader in rebounding and rebound margin, Purchase held a 51-37 edge on the boards.
  • Michael Soffer led four Panthers in double figures with 18 points. Deshawn Cann added 12, Max Pearce chipped in 11 and Brian Berrios contributed 10 to the balanced attack.

The Bear Facts

  • The Panthers improve to 8-5 in the all-time series and now have won four straight in the series.

Next up for St. Joseph's

The Bears head up to Albany to face The Sage Colleges on Saturday, January 21 in a Skyline Conference battle starting at 3 p.m. Live stats and video will be available on