PATCHOGUE, N.Y. – Powered by a 31 point, 20 rebound effort from freshman Michael Megafu (Brooklyn, NY/Nazareth Regional) that led three Bears that recorded double-double performances, the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team notched a 90-87 victory over sibling rivals St. Joseph's College (Long Island) in double overtime on Friday night at the John A. Danzi Athletic Center.
The Bears (7-3) record their first win over the Golden Eagles (1-5) in over 10 years, and the first with Coach Joseph Cocozello at the helm since the "East vs. West" rivalry was revived five years ago.
Megafu's records the first 30-plus point, 20-plus rebound game in school history (since formal records were kept in 2002). His 20 rebounds fall one shy of matching the single-game record (Donald Coleman vs. St. Joseph's-Long Island in 2010) and his 31 points is the seventh 30-plus point game, tied for seventh all-time. The freshman shot a blistering 82 percent (14-of-17) from the field; his 14 made field goals ranked second all-time. Megafu also swatted away three shots to take game high honors in points, rebounds and blocks. Megafu's double-double was his sixth of the season, entering the game No. 9 (tie) in Division III.
Sophomore David Louison (Brooklyn, NY/St. Edmund Prep), currently ranked No. 2 (tie) in Division III in double-doubles, registered his seventh of the season by way of 16 points and 14 rebounds also erasing a pair of shots. Junior Emitt Hightower (Brooklyn, NY/Immaculata (NJ) recorded his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds in a reserve role, also dishing out a game-high-tying four assists.
Five Golden Eagles finished in double figures led by Evan Mohammed's 21 points on 8-for-16 shooting that included five triples, and one that sent the game into double-overtime. Kieth Anderson added 15 points and 14 rebounds, the only Eagle to record a double-double. Sean McCarthy also added 15 points and had a game-high six thefts.
The contest was a tight battle that saw 15 ties and nine lead changes over the 50-minute affair. Neither team was able to build more than a six-point advantage in the opening half and entered the lockers deadlocked at 30-30.
Midway through the second stanza, the Bears utilized a 13-0 run over a five-minute span to generate the largest separation in the game, 61-47, with just 5:01 left in regulation, Hightower contributing six points to the spurt.
But the Bears offense would stall, unable to produce a field goal for three minutes and committed five turnovers over the stretch to allow the Eagles to assemble a 19-2 run capped by a Mohammed triple that put the Golden Eagles up 66-63. Brooklyn would level the game on a Megafu layup and Louison free throw and a game-winning trey attempt by the Eagles in the final seconds was too strong, forcing overtime for the second straight year.
The Bears led for almost the entirety of the first extra session, a Vernon Maddox (Staten Island, NY/St. Peter's) three-point play providing the jump start and finishing 7-for-9 from the stripe. Foul trouble would come into play for the Long Island throughout the overtime sessions, needing to foul to regain posession, and committing nearly double the fouls (35-20) and fouling out five Eagles in the process. The Bears continued to struggle from the charity stripe, shooting 49 percent (23-of-47) as a team and failed to put away the Eagles from the line in the final seconds of the first overtime, a pair of misses allowed Long Island to force a second extra session on a Mohammed trey in the final seconds that leveled the game at 79-79.
In the second overtime, with the Bears holding on to a slim 86-84 lead approaching the final minute, Hightower came up with a key offensive rebound off a missed free throw that led to a Megafu layup that put the Bears up four with 22 seconds remaining, but the Eagles countered with a quick three-pointer from Kowalski to cut the deficit to one with 13.7 seconds remaining. After Maddox was sent to the line again and sank another pair to push the lead back up to three, a game-tying three-point attempt for the Eagles in the final seconds wouldn't fall.
As team, the Bears set a new single-game record with field-goal attempts (47) and matched the single-game record in blocks (7) with David Ortiz (Brooklyn, NY/Christ the King) and Hightower contributing to the block party in addition to Megafu's three and Louison's two.
The Bears, winners of five of their last six, return to action on Monday, December 10th against Lehman College in their final game until the new year. The non-conference tilt will take place at the College of Mount Saint Vincent tipping off at 8 p.m.