BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Behind a game-high 18 points from senior captain Dimitri Sirakis (Oakland Gardens, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) and classmate Stephane Etheart's (Hollis, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) third-straight double-double, the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team (2-1) downed Lehman College (1-3), 77-58, on Saturday afternoon in the Bears' home opener at The Hill Center.
How It Happened
The Lightning picked up the first two points of the contest but didn't lead for the rest of the day as a Sirakis triple put the Bears up 5-2 at 18:38 and they led from then on. Lehman kept it close, however, as a low-scoring first 10 minutes saw a Richie Simon (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) layup give SJC a narrow 12-8 lead (12:08).
St. Joseph's stayed hot after Simon's finish extending it to 11 unanswered points capped by a Matt McQuillen (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) and-one for their first double-digit edge of the game (21-8) with just under 10 minutes to go in the period. Lehman brought their deficit back down to 10 a couple of minutes later, which prompted a timeout from Coach Cocozello.
The Bears responded after the timeout going on a 10-2 spurt that featured six points from Sirakis for a commanding, 34-16, advantage at the 2:26 mark. Lehman trimmed the gap to 12 with seconds remaining on the clock, but McQuillen beat the halftime buzzer with a tip-in to give the hosts a 37-23 bump at the break.
An Isaiah Geathers bucket early in the second half made the score 40-30, but Sirakis responded immediately with a fastbreak three to quiet the Lightning's comeback. However, Geathers brought his team within nine at 16:08 on a pair of free throws. A 10-0 SJC rally followed, bookended by an offensive rebound and layup from Simon, for a 53-34 edge and the Bears did not look back from there.
The Bears held the visitors to 33.9 percent field-goal shooting for the game (14.3 percent from three) and even extended the lead to 29 with just over five minutes remaining in regulation en route to a one-sided victory and their fifth-straight against Lehman College.
For the Bears
- Sirakis earned his 18 points on 7-13 shooting (4-6 3FG) while collecting three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
- Etheart dropped 16 points with 11 boards, two takeaways, and an assist.
- Meiner finished with nine points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks.
- Junior guard Frank Reali (Staten Island, N.Y./Susan Wagner) added 10 points (2-4 FG, 5-5 FT), six caroms, three dimes, and two thefts.
- Simon had a productive 15 minutes with bench-highs of six points (3-6 FG) and six rebounds (three offensive) on top of two assists, a steal, and a block.
Their second of a four-game homestand taking on Western Connecticut State (first-ever meeting) on Tuesday (Nov. 26) at 7 p.m. It will be the second half of a basketball doubleheader at The Hill Center with live stats and video streaming at SJCBears.com/live.