Release Courtesy of St. Joseph's Athletics
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Ten different Bears recorded a made field goal, led by a game-high 18 points from sophomore Matt O'Neill (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep), as the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) remained unbeaten in Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play with a 70-25 triumph over Pratt Institute on Tuesday night at the Pratt ARC.
St. Joseph's (11-8, 3-0 HVIAC) has now won two in a row and four of their last five while Pratt (4-7, 0-3) remains winless in league play and has lost three out of the last four games.
O'Neill scored in double figures for the fourth consecutive game, finishing an efficient 8-of-12 (66.7 percent) from the floor while coming up with a game-high seven steals in only 16 minutes of action. Sophomore Michael Megafu (Brooklyn, N.Y./Nazareth Regional) came two rebounds shy of his 13th double-double, concluding the night with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Also reaching double digits in points was freshman Francisco Escobedo (El Paso, Texas/Santa Teresa) who had 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting (50 percent) in a season-high 22 minutes. Junior Chris Labady (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) added eight points and three rebounds as all 11 Bears saw double-digit minutes of playing time.
The Cannoneers were led by Sam Peterson who had a team-high seven points and corralled five boards.
St. Joseph's led from start-to-finish and faced no serious threat from Pratt throughout the contest. The Bears defense stymied the Cannoneers offense all night as they held them to 26.1 percent (12-of-46) shooting from the floor and forced 32 Pratt turnovers which they parlayed into a 31-4 edge in points off turnovers.
The Cannoneers got within one, 9-8, with 14:48 left to play in the opening half. However, St. Joseph's ensued with an 18-2 run that gave them a 27-10 lead at the 8:34 mark of the first half, forcing a Pratt timeout and led to Coach Cocozello emptying his bench. The Bears would lead 35-14 at the break despite shooting only 9.1 percent (1-of-11) from beyond the arc in the opening frame.
The St. Joseph's reserves picked up where the starters left off in the first half, holding the Cannoneers to only five points in the second half with 4:15 left to play. Pratt could not buy a basket in the second half, going on many scoring droughts including an eight minute one midway through the half that helped the Bears build their lead to as many as 49, 70-21, with 55 seconds left to play.
After Pratt got within one at 9-8 with 14:48 left in the first half and looked like they possibly could stay in the game, St. Joseph's would end all hopes of that by going on an 18-2 run over six minutes to build a 27-10 lead that they would continue to build on throughout the rest of the game.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Other Contributors: Anthony Golaszewski (5 pts, 3 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl) David Louison (4 pts, 9 reb) David Lugo (4 pts, 5 reb, 2 stl)
- Despite shooting only 12.5 percent (3-of-24) from beyond the arc, St. Joseph's was able to shoot a respectable 41.7 percent (30-of-72) from the floor on the night as they connected on 56.3 percent (27-of-48) of their two-point attempts.
- The Bears held the edge at the line despite shooting only 46.7 percent (7-of-15) for the game as they were able to play defense without fouling, with the Cannoneers only going 1-of-4 from the charity stripe on the night.
- Pratt was able to win one battle on the night, with that being rebounding, where they held a 42-40 edge.
- The Bears once again protected the ball well, committing only eight turnovers.
- St. Joseph's made a living in the paint, maintaining a 50-10 edge in point in the paint.
- With the St. Joseph's reserves playing a lot of minutes, the Bears bench was able to outscore the Pratt bench, 34-4.
THE BEAR FACTS
- O'Neill led the Bears in scoring for the first time since the NYU-Poly game on December 10th.
- St. Joseph's is now a perfect 20-0 against their Clinton Hill rivals in a series that dates back to 2002.
- O'Neill's seven steals were the most by a Bear since he had eight against King's on January 21, 2013.
- The Bears hold a team without a double-digit scorer for the first time since November 16, 2013 against Centenary (N.J.)
- St. Joseph's set a new season-high with 20 steals and shot their lowest percentage from beyond the arc on the year.
- The 26.1 percent shooting by the Cannoneers is the lowest field goal percentage surrendered by the Bears this season.
NEXT UP FOR THE BEARS
St. Joseph's returns home for a HVIAC matchup against Vaughn College on Thursday, January 30th at 7:30 p.m.