Men's Basketball

St. Joseph's Men's Basketball Topples Medgar Evers With Second-Half Run

St. Joseph's Men's Basketball Topples Medgar Evers With Second-Half Run

Release Courtesy of St. Joseph's Athletics

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team shot a season-best 54.7 percent from the field and used a 20-1 run in the second half to defeat Medgar Evers College, 97-74, reaching a season high in points, on Monday night at the Cougars Cave.

St. Joseph's (10-8) has now won three of their last four games and reach the ten-win plateau for the third consecutive year while Medgar Evers (2-17) has now dropped 16 of their last 17 games.

The Bears were once again paced by junior David Louison (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) who had another outstanding game finishing with a team-high 27 points , on a blistering 13-of-17 (76.5 percent) shooting night. The forward added 11 rebounds to finish with his ninth double-double of the season. After missing a double-double by one point his last time out, sophomore Michael Megafu (Brooklyn, N.Y./Nazareth Regional) got back to his double-double ways, pouring in 19 points while securing 11 boards for his team-leading 12th double-double.

Also scoring in double figures for St. Joseph's was sophomore Matt O'Neill (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) who chipped in 17 points, 14 coming in the first half, to go along with six rebounds, a game-high seven assists and five steals. Senior David Ortiz(Brooklyn, N.Y./Christ the King) reached double digits for the first time this season, scoring 11 points on 4-of-8 (50 percent) shooting, including 3-of-7 from beyond the arc.

The Cougars were led by Khalid Yousef who had a game-high 28 points while the leading rebounder in the country, Valin Williams, finished the night with 11 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.

Both teams could not distance themselves from each other in the opening half, heading into the locker rooms tied at 44-44. The largest lead for either team was six, held by the Bears on three separate occasions. The two teams had trouble stopping each other as St. Joseph's shot 55.6 percent (20-of-36) in the first half, while Medgar Evers connected on 48.7 percent (19-of-39) of their shots.

The Bears came out of the break hot, scoring the first seven points of the period to go up 51-44 with 18:14 left to play. St. Joseph's held a 69-63 advantage midway through the frame when all of a sudden the intensity picked up on both ends for the Bears and a 20-1 run ensued that put St. Joseph's up 89-64 with 4:45 remaining, ending any hopes of a Cougars comeback.

The second half saw the Bears continue their torrid shooting, connecting on 53.8 percent (21-of-39) of their attempts. However, the story of the second half was about the St. Joseph's defense that held Medgar Evers to only 29.4 percent (10-of-34) shooting in the second frame and forced 12 Cougar turnovers to distance themselves from the hosts.

TURNING POINT

The Bears opened up the second half on a 7-0 run to take their largest lead of the game at 51-44, but Medgar Evers would cut it to two, 55-53, at the 15:52 mark of the second half. St. Joseph's built the lead back up to eight, 69-61, with 10:44 left to play on a Louison layup before Yousef made two free throws to trim it to six, 69-63.

The next possession for the Bears saw Louison nail a jump shot and the flood gates opened as St. Joseph's went on a 20-1 run to build a 89-64 lead with 4:45 left to play and coasted the rest of the way for the victory. The Bears was helped by six points from Louison and a pair of trifectas from sophomore Greg Beehler (Breezy Point, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) during the run that saw the Cougars go nearly six minutes without a field goal.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • Other contributors: Vernon Maddox (9 pts, 5 ast, 3 reb) Beehler (8 pts, 4 reb)
  • Despite the lopsided final score, the game did feature eight ties and 15 lead changes.
  • Neither team attempted a free throw in the first half as only seven fouls were called in the period.
  • St. Joseph's distributed the ball well on offense, finishing with 25 assists on 41 made field goals.
  • The Bears once again won the turnover battle, holding a 21-11 edge which they parlayed into a significant 23-5 advantage in points off turnovers.
  • St. Joseph's owned the paint, helped by Louison and Megafu, finishing with a 48-34 edge in points in the paint.
  • Medgar Evers finished the night shooting 39.7 percent (29-of-73) from the field after a hot-shooting first half.
  • After going 6-of-11 (54.5 percent) from beyond the arc in the first half, the Cougars were held to 3-of-8 (37.5 percent) in the second half.
  • Medgar Evers, helped by the leading rebounder in the NCAA, outrebounded the Bears 44-43.

THE BEAR FACTS

  • Neither Megafu nor Louison picked up a personal foul, marking the first time that both have not picked up a foul in a game in their nearly two years together in the Bears frontcourt.
  • St. Joseph's 54.7 percent shooting bests their previous season-high of 53.6 percent set just last week at Valley Forge.
  • The Bears improve to 4-6 against the Cougars, snapping a three-game losing streak against their borough rivals.
  • Ortiz reached double figures for the first time since last year's season finale against Lindenwood-Belleville in the USCAA Tournament on February 28, 2013 when he had 11 points.

NEXT UP FOR THE BEARS

The Bears have a quick turnaround as they travel to HVIAC foe Pratt Institute tomorrow for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.