UNIONTOWN, Pa. – In the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team's first appearance in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championship since 2007, the Bears played their hearts out but were overmatched by the top-seeded Rochester, dropping a 75-53 opening round decision on Wednesday afternoon at the campus of Penn State Fayette.
The Bears (16-12) faced a tall task drawing a Rochester team that finished the regular season 26-3 with their only losses coming to NCAA Division I schools while also notching a victory over Division I school Eastern Illinois earlier in the season.
Senior Jan Rogowski (Woodside, NY/St. John's Prep) led the Bears with 12 points shooting 5-of-12 from the field including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc and brought down five rebounds. Freshman Matt O'Neill (Brooklyn, NY/St. Edmund Prep) netted 10 points along with four rebounds.
USCAA All-American sophomore David Louison (Brooklyn, NY/St. Edmund Prep) nearly recorded his 14th double-double of the year scoring nine points while securing eight caroms. Freshman Michael Megafu (Brooklyn, NY/Nazareth Regional) contributed six points and corralled a team-high nine rebounds.
Rochester was led by All-American Dramell Hogan who finished with a game-high 37 points and shot an impressive 14-of-19 from the field. Hogan also netted 10 rebounds to pick up the double-double for the Warriors. All-American Drew Maynard also contributed a double-double by way of 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Rochester opened the scoring with a jumper by Maynard but the Bears remained on the heels of the Warriors taking their first of the game at the 18:12 mark, 4-2, on a jumper by Rogowski. St. Joseph's last lead would come at the 15:46 mark when they led 9-8 but Rochester responded with a 14-3 run that put them up by 10, 22-12, with 11:25 remaining in the first half.
St. Joseph's would cut the deficit to 24-19 at 8:41 but that would be the closest they would get as the Warriors went on a 19-4 spurt to close the half heading into the lockers up 43-23.
The Bears played Rochester nearly even in the second half with the Warriors holding a 32-30 advantage in the period. St. Joseph's improved their shooting in the second stanza hitting on 36 percent (11-of-31) of their shots after shooting 25 percent (8-of-32) in the first half.
After Rochester dominated the glass in the first half holding a 28-12 advantage at intermission, St. Joseph's outrebounded the Warriors in the second half by a 22-17 advantage despite the extreme size advantage Rochester had in its frontline. The Warriors size inside helped lead to a decisive, 44-22, advantage in points in the paint. Rochester shot an efficient 53 percent (28-of-53) from the field for the game while St. Joseph's shot 30 percent (19-of-63) from the field bothered by the length of the Warriors.
The Bears look to conclude their season with a victory facing #4 Lindenwood University Belleville in a consolation game tomorrow at 11:15 a.m.