Bears Tripped Up in Opening Game of Wesleyan Tournament
MIDDLETOWN, CT – The St. Joseph's men's basketball team opened up the Wesleyan University Red and Black Classic Tournament with a loss at the hands of the host Wesleyan Cardinals, 76-47. The Bears now fall to 2-8 on the season and have lost their last four games.
Wesleyan (7-4) controlled the game from the outset, scoring the game's first nine points en route to an 18-3 first half run. The Cardinals stellar shooting in the first half enabled them to maintain a double digit lead the rest of the game. Wesleyan shot 47 percent (16-for-34) from the floor and 50 percent (6-for-12) from behind the arc as they jumped out to a 45-21 lead after one period.
The Bears struggled on the glass, as the Cardinals held a distinct rebounding advantage, 50 to 33. The second chances allowed Wesleyan to smother any chance the Bears had at a comeback.
Senior Donald Coleman (Brooklyn, NY/Nazareth) led the Bears offense with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including going 3-for-3 from downtown. Freshman Jan Rogowski (Woodside, NY/St. John's Prep) was the only other Bear in double figures, scoring ten. Sophomore Ismael Dabo (Bloomfield, NJ/St. John's Prep) set a career high in minutes played with 28 and had a game high nine rebounds for his efforts.
The Cardinals were led by Jason Mendell who scored a game high 21 points, going 50 percent from the field and connecting on all ten free throw attempts. Two other Cardinals finished in double digits, Otis Poisson had 14 and Mike Callaghan chipped in with 11.
St. Joseph's will play in the consolation game concluding their Connecticut road trip on New Year's Eve against Westfield State, who lost to Wheaton in the other semifinal matchup. Tip-off is scheduled for 12 noon.