Release Courtesy of St. Joseph's Athletics
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Despite a game-high 20 points from senior Megan Moran (Syosset, N.Y./St. Dominic's), the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) women's basketball team could not overcome a ten-point halftime deficit as they suffered a 57-54 setback to Berkeley College on Saturday night in a battle of Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) unbeatens at Borough of Manhattan Community College.
St. Joseph's (9-8, 1-1 HVIAC) drops their first conference game of the season and has lost three of their last four games, while Berkeley (10-3, 4-0) has now won six of their last seven games and with a win in one of their two final league games the Knights will clinch their first ever regular season title.
Moran continued her strong performance over the last five games, scoring in double figures for the fifth straight game on an efficient 9-of-18 (50 percent) shooting night. Adding contributions was junior Taylor Raccuglia (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Kearney) who had 14 points and nine rebounds.
Junior Samantha Retas (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Kearney) had a strong all-around game for the Lady Bears, scoring nine points while corralling a game-high 14 rebounds. The forward also added a career-high-tying six assists and came up with four steals.
Leading Berkeley was Janay Thomas who had a team-high 16 points, while two-time HVIAC Player of the Week Milan Germany recorded a double-double, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
The opening stanza saw St. Joseph's trail the entire half as they struggled from the field, shooting 24.0 percent (6-of-25) in the opening period. The Lady Bears defense held its own in the first half limiting the Knights to 28.1 percent (9-of-32) shooting but Berkeley headed into the locker rooms up 10, 28-18, helped by five trifectas in the first half compared to zero for St. Joseph's.
Both teams came out of the break and picked up their play as each team improved on their shooting numbers in the second half. The Lady Bears got on the board 14 seconds into the second half on a trey by Retas, cutting the deficit to single digits, 28-21, after St. Joseph's had trailed by as many as 13 in the opening frame.
After Germany nailed a triple to up the Berkeley lead back to 10, 31-21, at the 17:44 mark in the second half, the Lady Bears would start their furious comeback going on an 18-10 run over the next six minutes to get within two, 41-39, with 11 minutes left to play, the closest they had been since it was 5-3 at the 17:26 mark of the first half.
The Knights increased the lead back to five before St. Joseph's rolled off another run, this time an 11-2 spurt that gave them their largest lead of the game at 54-50 with 2:52 left to play. However, Berkeley came right back with a three-pointer and a jumper to take back the lead for good as the Lady Bears comeback bid came up short.
After Thomas made two free throws for the Knights to put them up 48-43 with 5:35 left to play, St. Joseph's would go on a 11-2 run over the next three minutes to take a 54-50 lead with 2:52 left to play. Moran had seven of the 11 points, connecting on a pair of layups, a jump shot and a free throw to help lead the Lady Bears back.
McNamee capped off the spurt with a layup and it looked like St. Joseph's was going to finish off the comeback, but the Knights had other ideas scoring five unanswered to take back the lead for good at 55-54 with 1:14 left to play. Berkeley would add a pair of free throws and kept the Lady Bears off the board for the last 2:52 to seal the win.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Other contributor: Kelly McNamee (7 pts, 5 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl)
- Both teams shot an identical 34.5 percent from the field as the Lady Bears went 20-of-58 while the Knights finished 19-of-55 from the floor.
- The biggest disparity of the contest came from beyond the arc where Berkeley connected on 8-of-17 (47.1 percent) compared to 2-of-7 (28.6 percent) by St. Joseph's.
- The two teams were nearly even on the glass with the Knights holding a 42-41 edge.
- The Lady Bears held their own in the paint claiming a 22-12 edge in points in the paint.
- Berkeley won the bench battle maintaining a 13-0 margin in bench points.
THE LADY BEAR FACTS
- St. Joseph's falls to Berkeley for the first time ever in six all-time meeting dating back to 2011.
- Moran has scored 20+ points in two of her last three games after having never reached the 20-point plateau in her career prior to the Lady Bears game against CCNY.
NEXT UP FOR THE LADY BEARS
St. Joseph's returns to action on Monday, January 27th, facing Vaughn College in another HVIAC road matchup at 7:30 p.m.