Release Courtesy of St. Joseph's Athletics
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Four Bears scored in double figures led by a 30-point effort from David Louison (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep), but Drew University overcame a 12-point deficit with 4:52 remaining and held the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team scoreless over the final 2:55 taking an 85-78 victory at Brooklyn Technical High School on Saturday evening.
The Rangers (6-5) won their second straight while the Bears (7-6) suffered their first home loss of the season and saw their four-game streak halted.
Louison's 30-point game on 12-of-20 shooting was one point shy of his career-best and one rebound shy of his 30th career double-double. Michael Megafu (Brooklyn, N.Y./Nazareth Regional) recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Ian Duff (Jamaica, N.Y./Christ the King) chipped in 13 points in a reserve role and Vernon Maddox (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) had 12 points and six assists.
Drew also placed four in double figures led by Mike Klinger who shared game-high honors with Louison, posting 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting and 6-of-9 from behind-the-arc.
The visitors shot a blistering 63.3 percent (19-30) in the opening half – including 7-of-12 from three-point land – and never trailed, leading by as many as 10 midway through the period, but the Bears whittled away at the deficit to a single point before a Rangers basket just before the buzzer sent them into the break up 46-41.
After the Rangers got the opening basket of the second stanza, the Bears used a 9-0 run over two minutes to take their first lead of the contest and led for most of the second half of the game. The Bears built as large as a 12-point advantage with 4:52 remaining and seemed in control of the contest when the Rangers staged a late comeback scoring the final 15 points of the contest to come away with the win.
After a Maddox free throw with 2:55 left – the Bears final points of the contest – gave the Bears a 78-70 advantage, the Rangers followed with an 8-0 run in less than a minute with a pair of triples from John Ford wrapped around Jason Huelbig free throws.
With the game knotted a 78-all, the Bears never managed to get a clean shot off as Drew blocked attempts from Greg Beehler (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) and Megafu, which the Rangers converted on their end of the floor building an 82-78 lead on layups and pulling away from the foul line.
Over the final 2:55, the Bears managed just four field goal attempts – three of them blocked – and committed four turnovers that led to eight Ranger points.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- After their hot-shooting first half, Drew finished the more efficient team connecting on 57.4% (31-54) of their attempts to the Bears 48.5% (32-66). After draining seven three-pointers in the first half, the Bears' defense held them to just two in the second half and 25% from distance.
- The Bears won the battle of the boards, 37-29, and converted 10 offensive rebounds into 12 second chance points.
- The Rangers backcourt did most of the damage with the three starting guards accounting for 61 of their 85 points.
- The opening half saw eight combined fouls and four combined free throw attempts, but the second half found both teams reaching the bonus before the 10-minute mark, Drew shooting 70% (14-20) from the line to the Bears 64.7% (11-17).
THE BEAR FACTS
- Louison reached the 30-point mark for just the second time in his career and now sits at 955 career points.
- Megafu now has 23 career double-doubles, creeping up on Louison with 29.
- Duff finished his fifth game in double-figures – after just four entering this season and a career 3.4 ppg average – and enjoys a career-best 8.0 points per game.
NEXT UP FOR THE BEARS
The Bears will look to rebound traveling to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to face Vassar College on Tuesday, January 7th starting at 8 p.m. Video for that game can be found on SJCBears.com.