BROOKLYN, N.Y. — After a 1-1 week that saw them break the longest win streak in the Skyline and narrowly fall on the road, the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team will look ahead to Purchase and Merchant Marine in the next seven days. The Bears were revitalized against Mount Saint Vincent with the return of senior captain Alec Willis (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph by the Sea) and his season-high 27 points in the victory. Now, SJC sits at 8-11 (7-7) placing them in a fifth-place tie with Yeshiva in the standing; the Bears travel to YU on February 8.
Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m.
- St. Joseph's hosted first-place Mount Saint Vincent (Jan. 24) attempting to snap the Dolphins' eight-game win streak and were successful, as Willis scored seven points in the final two minutes to close out an 84-76 triumph. The captain added six boards, four dimes, and two steals to his game-high 27, and sophomore Sebastien Etheart (Hollis, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) poured in a career-high 18 (11 reb) while notching his second-career double-double. The Bears then fell in a nail-biter at Mount Saint Mary (Jan. 27), despite 21 points and eight caroms from forward Stephane Etheart (Hollis, N.Y./St. Francis Prep). Earlier in the season when the blue and gray traveled to Purchase (Jan. 3) sophomore Dimitri Sirakis (Hollis, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) led a struggling offense with 16 points.
- Purchase enters play at 12-6 (8-5) and is locked in a third-place tie with Mount Saint Mary in the Skyline standings. The Panthers have enjoyed hot play as of late, winning three-straight including back-to-back conference wins and a buzzer-beating upset of #14 Wesleyan. Over the course of their three wins, PC has been led by Deshawn Cann and his 15 points a night, as well as Michael Soffer's 14.7 ppg while he was also responsible for the buzzer-beating bomb to defeat #14 Wesleyan. When these teams met on January 3, Nikeem Deleon (23) and Cann (18) combined for 41 points on an efficient 18-29 shooting between them.
Keys to the Contest
- Willis is a go-to scoring threat that the Bears can always fall back on and having him on the floor is a huge factor for their offense that has scored the fourth-most points in the Skyline (1305). Joining him in the backcourt is Sirakis who ranks fifth in scoring and leads the team with 15.2 points per game. The pair of guards scorch the net from three, as Willis drains a team-high 45.6% of his deep-balls while Sirakis leads the squad with 45 3PM. The Bears are a force in the paint as well, corralling the third-most boards per game in the conference (40.9) anchored by St. Etheart's 9.4 rpg (4th in Skyline).
- The Panthers are equally strong on the glass, sitting just behind SJC with 39.6 rpg and senior center Tarik Allicock comes in at third in caroms with 9.8 a night. PC's backcourt boasts two top-20 scorers in Cann (11th - 13.8 ppg) and Deleon (15th - 13.1ppg). Purchase also bleeds experience, as all six of their players averaging 20+ minutes are upper classmen (four of them being seniors). This is in stark contrast to SJC who trots out a starting lineup of four sophomores and their lone senior, with a sophomore-laden bench as well.
- St. Joseph's has lost five-straight to the Panthers and are 5-9 in the all-time series.
Thursday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m.
at Merchant Marine
- Merchant Marine has had an up-and-down 2017-18 as they are currently 7-9 (5-7) and come in at eighth in the league standings. Last week the Mariners split their outings going 1-1 with a home win over Sarah Lawrence (Jan. 24) and an eight-point loss at Purchase (Jan. 27). Five players in double-figures led USMMA over Sarah Lawrence 83-69 highlighted by 17 (6-12, 5-9 3FG) from rookie James Walsh. In the Purchase game Walsh tallied 12 points to complement center David Washington's 14-point, 18-rebound double-double, however, they were downed 67-49. Before hosting the Bears, Merchant Marine hosts SJC Long Island (Jan. 30) at 6 p.m.
Keys to the Contest
- The Mariners are the only team in the conference SJC has yet to face, and despite their record USMMA pours in 74.2 points a night which ranks them second in the Skyline. Scoring leader George Hatzioannides (16.3 ppg) went down with an injury after seven games, and Walsh has picked up the slack spearheading the offense with 14 points per. Behind him is Seth Barnes (12.8 ppg) and Eric Sobocinski (10.3 ppg), while two additional top-six scorers on the team have played less than 10 games due to injury. Defensively the Mariners are less consistent, coming in at seventh with 74 points allowed on average and the Bears will look to exploit them on that side of the floor.
- SJC comes in at 1-2 all-time versus the Mariners and lost last season by just two points in their last meeting.