Release Courtesy of St. Joseph's Athletics
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Led by a pair of 20-plus point games from junior David Louison(Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) and sophomore Michael Megafu (Brooklyn, N.Y./Nazareth Regional), the No. 1 seed St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team secured their first Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) Tournament championship since 2010 with a 92-76 victory over No. 3 seed Vaughn College on Sunday afternoon at the CNR Wellness Center.
St. Joseph's (18-9, 7-0 HVIAC) has now won three HVIAC Tournament championships in school history and have won four games in a row overall, while Vaughn (14-11, 5-2 HVIAC) sees their cinderella run come to an end in their first championship game appearance since 2010.
Louison continued his double-double ways, picking up his 16th on the season with a game-high 25 points and a season-high 17 rebounds on 11-of-17 shooting from the field. The forward earned Tournament MVP honors after averaging 20.5 points and 15.0 rebounds per game over the two games. Megafu finished with 22 points and six rebounds, going an efficient 9-of-11 from the floor.
Also reaching double figures for the Bears was junior Vernon Maddox (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) who chipped in a career-high 19 points and dished out a game-high five assists. Adding 11 points was sophomore Matt O'Neill (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) who also netted four rebounds and three assists.
Jared Ndiba led the way for the Warriors with 22 points, while Eric McDonald and Ron Wyatt each poured in 12 points apiece.
Vaughn had no answer for the Bears offense as St. Joseph's shot 65.5 percent (36-of-55) from the field, including a blistering 74.1 percent (20-of-27) in the first half that helped the Bears build a double-digit lead and take control of the game.
St. Joseph's got off to a quick start early with hot shooting from the floor, but trailed Vaughn 9-8 with 16:10 left to play in the first half and it looked like the Warriors may be able to use their momentum gained from their big comeback win over Berkeley to upset the Bears.
However, St. Joseph's would have none of it as they responded with a 19-2 run that gave them a 27-11 lead with 9:54 left in the opening half and built the lead to as many as 22 points and headed into the break with a 49-27 lead.
The Bears came out of the intermission with four points by senior David Ortiz (Brooklyn, N.Y./Christ the King) to take a 53-28 lead with 18:50 to play. Vaughn would get within 13, 84-71, with 2:15 left to play, but St. Joseph's answered with baskets each time the Warriors made a run and finished off Vaughn as the Warriors went over two minutes without a basket and the Bears went on an 8-1 run that pushed the lead back to 20 to seal the victory.
St. Joseph's trailed 9-8 with 16:10 left in the first period, but responded with a 19-2 run that put them up for good, 27-11, at the 9:54 mark of the period.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Other Contributor: Ortiz (5 pts, 4 reb, 4 ast)
- Vaughn wasn't able to keep up with the Bears hot shooting, making only 39.7 percent (31-of-78) of their attempts for the game.
- St. Joseph's dominated at the line again, going 17-of-23 (73.9 percent) compared to 7-of-18 (38.9 percent) by the Warriors.
- The Bears held a narrow 40-36 edge on the glass, but Vaughn used an 18-6 edge on the offensive glass to hold a 22-5 margin in second chance points.
- Vaughn held a 20-6 edge in points off turnovers.
THE BEAR FACTS
- The 65.5 percent shooting is the highest shot by the Bears in school history, surpassing the 60.6 percent shot against Baptist Bible on November 9, 2002.
- St. Joseph's improves to 9-1 all-time against the Warriors.
- The last time the Bears won the HVIAC Tournament they also played Vaughn back in 2010.
- St. Joseph's concludes the season winning nine of their last ten games.
- Maddox surpasses his previous career-high of 18 points set against Valley Forge on January 23rd.
NEXT UP FOR THE BEARS
The Bears will wait and see if they will receive an invitation to compete in their second straight United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championships taking place in Uniontown, Pa. from March 4-8. In the latest coaches poll released last Friday, the Bears were ranked No. 12.