IRVING, Texas – Powered by a season-high 21 points from junior David Louison(Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep), the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team bounced back from a close loss last night with a 73-70 victory over Austin College on Saturday afternoon in their final game at the University of Dallas Classic.
The Bears (2-2) led from start to finish and built a 24-point advantage, 45-21, with 19:41 left in the second half before withstanding a late charge from Austin (2-1) in the final seconds to improve to .500 on the season. Also reaching double figures for St. Joseph's was sophomore Michael Megafu (Brooklyn, N.Y./Nazareth Regional) who poured in 16 points while posting five rebounds and senior Ian Duff (Jamaica, N.Y./Christ the King) who netted 11 points and seven rebounds. Junior Vernon Maddox (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) contributed eight points and a game-high seven assists.
The Roos were led by Ransom Okpala who dropped in a game-high 25 points including 20 in the second half to help spark a second half run. Alan Sullivan added 13 points and seven rebounds going 9-of-10 from the charity stripe in the second half.
The Bears dominated from the opening tip building a 13-2 lead seven minutes into the action. St. Joseph's used suffocating defense to stymie the Austin three-point attack holding the Roos to 22 percent (8-of-37) shooting in the half and 22 percent (4-of-18) from beyond the arc. The Bears headed into intermission with a 43-21 advantage and looked to have the game well in hand.
Austin picked up their intensity in the second half forcing 15 turnovers and cut the St. Joseph's lead to 70-68 with 32 seconds left. On the ensuing Bears possession, Megafu drew a foul and made one of two at the line to increase the lead back to three, 71-68. The Roos would get their chance in the final moments to tie the game when Jeremy Swisher was fouled on a three–point attempt with eight seconds left. However, Swisher only made two of three free throws forcing Austin to foul. Maddox took the inbounds pass and was fouled immediately. The junior connected on both shots to up the lead to 73-70 and a last second shot by Okpala came up short.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Other contributors: David Ortiz (7 pts, 8 reb, 3 ast), Matt O'Neill (5 pts, 4 reb, 3 stl)
- Bears went 28-of-44 (63.6 percent) from the foul line.
- St. Joseph's distributed the ball efficiently finishing with 17 total assists on 21 made field goals.
- The Bears won the battle in the paint holding a 26-18 advantage.
- The Roos triumphed in the battle of the benches compiling a 33-16 edge.
THE BEAR FACTS
- Louison is one point away from 800 for his career and reaches 20 points for the seventh time in his career.
- Today's meeting was the first between the two schools'.
NEXT UP FOR THE BEARS
St. Joseph's returns to action on Saturday, November 30th as they head back on the road with a trip to Virginia to face Southern Virginia on Saturday and Apprentice on Sunday.