BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Senior forward Stephane Etheart (Hollis, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) has a double-double in all four of the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team's games thus far and junior guard Frank Reali (Staten Island, N.Y./Susan Wagner) dropped a season-high 26 points in an 85-78 win over Western Connecticut State University at The Hill Center on Tuesday night.
The Bears (3-1) downed the Colonials (4-2) in the two programs' first-ever meeting for their third-straight victory as they improved to 2-0 at home on the young season.
How It Happened
Reali drained a triple just 13 seconds into the game and moments later a Dimitri Sirakis (Oakland Gardens, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) steal led to a big dunk from Etheart for a quick 5-0 bump. However, the Colonials didn't back down as the game remained within four for the next few minutes until Ryan Alkins tied things up at 14 with a layup (14:24). The Bears responded with a 9-0 run on two threes from Reali and one from Sirakis to go ahead 23-14 at the 13:20 mark.
It proved to be a half of runs as WestConn ran off nine unanswered themselves to knot the score back up. Neck-and-neck play resumed until a finish from rookie Chris Edwards (Staten Island, N.Y./Monsignor Farrell) put the Bears ahead 36-27 with five-and-a-half minutes to go in the frame. The separation didn't last as the Colonials outscored SJC by seven over the final five minutes of the first cutting the deficit to 43-41 at the break.
The back-and-forth nature of this one continued in the second half with Fenton Bradley Jr. draining a long-ball at 15:09 to bring the visitors within one and, less than a minute later, Tyler Scalzo hit a trey of his own for a 52-51 Western Connecticut lead. Eight-straight points from St. Joseph's, featuring back-to-back threes from Edwards and Sirakis, gave them back the lead that they didn't relinquish again.
WCSU got as close as two and even cut the gap to three with just under three minutes to play, but the Bears consistently rattled off lead-preserving runs whenever the visitors came close to secure a hard-fought road victory in which they shot 51.9 percent from the field and 40.9 from three.
For the Bears
- Reali got his 26 on efficient 7-12 shooting (5-10 3FG, 7-12 FT) adding two rebounds and a steal.
- Etheart continued his dominance inside with 18 points (7-13 FG), 16 rebounds, three blocks, and three assists.
- Sirakis poured in 18 points of his own (7-13 FG) with a team-high six assists as well as a pair of steals.
- Edwards paced the second unit with eight points (3-4 FG, 2-2 3FG) and four boards.
Their third of four-straight home dates taking on the City College of New York on Saturday (Nov. 30) with tip set for 1 p.m. at The Hill Center. Live stats and video will be available at SJCBears.com/live.