Men’s Basketball Upsets Defending Champion Farmingdale at Buzzer in Skyline Opener

Men’s Basketball Upsets Defending Champion Farmingdale at Buzzer in Skyline Opener

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — With less than one second left in regulation, a Kavan Meiner (Staten Island, N.Y./Susan Wagner) putback layup gave the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team a 71-70 victory over Farmingdale State College at The Hill Center on Tuesday night. Farmingdale topped the Skyline preseason coaches' poll following their 2016-17 title, but four Bears in double figures propelled SJC to a thrilling triumph.

The Basics

  • Final Score: St. Joseph's 71, Farmingdale 70
  • Records: St. Joseph's (1-2, 1-0), Farmingdale (1-1, 0-1)
  • Location: Brooklyn, N.Y. — The Hill Center
  • SJC Starters: Willis (G), Sirakis (G), Etheart (F), Etheart (F), Meiner (F)

Turning Point

  • The Bears held a 14-point lead in the second half, however a 12-0 run with 2:30 remaining gave the Rams a 66-63 advantage, but the Bears would claw back to win just before the final horn.

How It Happened

  • At the 10:47 mark in the opening half, the Bears trailed 19-16 despite six points apiece from Alec Willis (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph by the Sea) and Stephane Etheart (Hollis, N.Y./St. Francis Prep).
  • The remainder of the period was back-and-forth, but Meiner would hit his first last-second shot of the night with :05 on the clock to give SJC a 41-39 lead at intermission. Willis led all scorers at the break with 11 (4-5 FG, 3-4 3FG) along with five dimes.
  • St. Joseph's maintained their momentum to open the second, as a highlight-reel fast break dunk by Etheart off of a Dimitri Sirakis (Hollis, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) lob pushed the lead to 45-39.
  • Sirakis nailed a trey to cap off an 18-6 Bears' run, swelling the lead to 59-45 halfway through the second. However, Farmingdale refused to go down without a fight as Matthew Graham took over late, scoring 12-straight Rams' points giving the visitors a 68-63 lead with under two minutes to go.
  • With the Rams looking to run down the clock, Willis stripped his man of the ball and raced down the court laying the ball in and bringing SJC within one. Farmingdale stepped up to the foul line winning 70-69 with eight seconds remaining, but a miss, rebounded by Etheart, was outletted to Sirakis for a pull-up three. Meiner corralled the carom and eased it through the net with 0.8 left to secure the upset.

Play of the Night

For the Bears

  • Meiner totaled 15 points (7-16 FG) on top of seven boards and three steals in 37 minutes.
  • Willis notched 15 as well on an efficient 5-8 from the floor (3-5 3FG) as well as five assists, four rebounds, and two steals.
  • Sirakis tallied double-digit points for the third-straight game (15) on 50% shooting while dishing out a career-high eight assists.
  • Etheart surpassed 10 points for the third time in as many outings with 14 (6-9 FG) and snatched seven rebounds and three steals.

Inside the Box Score

  • The game saw a whopping 18 lead changes and the Bears shot 47% from the floor as opposed to Farmingdale's 42%.
  • SJC was feeling it from deep, raining down 50% of their threes for the game. Matt McQuillen (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's) hit both of his long range attempts on the way to nine points of the bench.
  • Despite the victory, the Bears were outrebounded for the first time this year (42-33).

The Bear Facts

  • St. Joseph's was swept by the Rams last year and held a -39 point differential in their two games.
  • The Bears' last win over Farmingdale came in the opening round of the 2015-16 Skyline Championships and was the first step in their unprecedented run to the final.

Next Up for the Bears

  • A switch back to non-conference play with a road matchup against the City College of New York on Saturday (Nov. 25). Tip is set for 2 p.m. with live stats available at