Men’s Basketball Wipes Out Early Deficit But Drops Round One of Rivalry With SJC Long Island

Sophomore Aaron Parra had 17 points and 8 rebounds, both team highs.
Sophomore Aaron Parra had 17 points and 8 rebounds, both team highs.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team withstood an early barrage from sibling rivals St. Joseph's College (Long Island) and wiped out a 14-point deficit but couldn't hold off the Golden Eagles for their first league win, falling 84-77 on Wednesday evening in a Skyline Conference south division affair.

All five starters for the Bears finished in double figures and were led by sophomore Aaron Parra's (Brooklyn, N.Y./Monsignor McClancy) 17 points and eight rebounds. 

The Basics

  • Final Score: SJC Long Island 84, SJC Brooklyn 77
  • Records:  SJC Long Island (2-9, 2-1 Skyline), SJC Brooklyn (2-9, 0-3 Skyline)
  • Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Arena: The Hill Center
  • SJC Starters: Willis (G), Giles (G), Sirakis (G), Parra (F), Meiner (F)

Turning Point

  • After the Bears took their first lead of the game early in the second half, the teams traded the lead six more times before an a 12-2 run from the Golden Eagles put the Bears at a double-digit deficit with 3:33 to play.

How it Happened

  • Long Island raced out to a 12-0 lead just 3:30 in behind six quick points from Fernando Vazquez, but the Bears weathered the early storm and shrank a deficit that grew to as many as 14 down to two points at the intermission, 41-39. Brooklyn used a quick 11-2 run over four minutes sparked by five points from Dimitri Sirakis and capped by five straight from Alec Willis that brought back a one-possession ball game.
  • Brooklyn scored six unanswered early in the second half to fully erase the early deficit and take their first lead of the "East vs. West" rivalry. A pair of conventional three-point plays from Kavan Meiner helped provide the early spark for Brooklyn as the teams jostled for the lead and neither team led by more than three until the 10-minute mark.
  • With Long Island clinging to a three-point lead with 7:08 to go, Brooklyn missed three straight from the charity stripe and a Vazquez trifecta put the Bears at a six-point deficit and the Golden Eagles would extend their lead to as many as 11 and Brooklyn couldn't chip away at the deficit.

For the Bears

  • Sophomore Aaron Parra shot 7-of-15 from the field for a team-high 17 points and hauled in a game-best eight rebounds and a pair of blocks.
  • Junior Alec Willis finished with 14 points, sinking 6-of-8 from the free throw line and grabbed three boards.
  • Senior Christian Giles contributed 12 points with four rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
  • Freshman Kavan Meiner also chipped in 12 points with seven rebounds.
  • Freshman Dimitri Sirakis rounded out the five starters in double-figures with 10 points, four rebounds, and two helpers.

Inside the Box Score

  • The Golden Eagles out shot the Bears 44 percent (24-54) to 38 percent (25-66).
  • Brooklyn held a 44-33 edge in rebounding battle including 19 on the offensive end that led to 18 second-chance points.
  • The visitors made the most of their 35 free throw attempts, connecting at an 83 percent clip (29-35) while the hosts managed just a 72 percent connect rate (23-32).
  • Senior Fernando Vazquez led four Golden Eagles in double figures with a game-high 24 points. Isaiah Moore added 19 points and the duo was a combined 15-for-15 from the charity stripe.

The Bear Facts

  • Five Bears finish in double-figure scoring for the first time this season.
  • The Golden Eagles have now won three straight meetings and the last two at The Hill Center. Long Island improves to 7-3 in the all-time series. The teams will meet again in Patchogue for the back end of the home-and-home series on February 14th.

Next up for St. Joseph's

The Bears will take a brief break from Skyline Conference play to face The College of New Rochelle on Saturday, January 7th at 3 p.m. The Blue Angels (5-6) are in their inaugural season since going co-ed this academic year.