Willis Carries Men’s Basketball Past First-Place Mount Saint Vincent

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — In his first game since Dec. 31, senior captain Alec Willis (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph by the Sea) dropped a season-high 27 points as the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) men's basketball team downed the College of Mount Saint Vincent on Wednesday night. The Dolphins led for much of the first half and SJC held a slim halftime lead, but Willis closed it out down the stretch to push his team above .500 in league play and break CMSV's eight-game win streak.

The Basics

  • Final Score: St. Joseph's 84, Mount Saint Vincent 76
  • Records: St. Joseph's (8-10, 7-6), Mount Saint Vincent (12-6, 10-3)
  • Location: Brooklyn, N.Y. — The Hill Center
  • SJC Starters: Willis (G), Sirakis (G), Etheart (F), Etheart (F), Meiner (F)

Turning Point

  • Willis finished a layup at 7:31 in the first to cap off an 11-2 Bears' run bringing them back within two (30-28) after falling behind by double-digits.

How It Happened

  • Mount Saint Vincent ran out to a quick 9-0 lead after an Andrew Curiel bucket for two of his team-high 20 points (14 rebounds) on the night. However, two Stephane Etheart (Hollis, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) free throws halfway through the frame (11:48) brought the Bears back within six (21-15).
  • Seven-straight points from the Dolphins had them back on track and leading by 11 at 9:25 in the first. St. Joseph's answered quickly with their 11-2 spurt, and they would go on to lead 44-43 at the half behind 17 points from the captain.
  • The Bears led for the first 10 minutes of half number two until Vinny Tavella tied things up for the visitors (10:16) knotting the score at 60. Etheart scored to give SJC a six point lead with six minutes to play, but Curiel and CMSV were not done yet as he tied the game at 69 soon after (3:38).
  • Willis would have the final say scoring seven points in the final two minutes to put the game away for St. Joseph's as they completed the season sweep of the Dolphins.

For the Bears

  • Willis added six boards, four assists, and two steals on top of his game-high 27 points (9-17, 6-10 3FG).
  • Point-forward Sebastien Etheart (Hollis, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) notched his second career double-double with 18 points (5-11, 3-5 3FG) and 11 rebounds (2 stl).
  • Stephane chipped in 14 points (7 reb) along with Dimitri Sirakis' (Hollis, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) 12 (4 reb, 4 ast) to round out players in double-figures.

Inside the Box Score

  • The Bears edged out the rebounding battle 47-42 largely thanks to forward Kavan Meiner (Staten Island, N.Y./Susan Wagner) and his team-high tying 11 caroms (7 pts).
  • SJC put up a whopping 32 freebies (18 FTM) compared to the visitors' 11 attempts.

The Bear Facts

  • The win is St. Joseph's third against the current top two teams in the Skyline (CMSV and Farmingdale), as the Bears account for 50% of those squad's league losses thus far.
  • SJC improved to 6-8 all-time against Mount Saint Vincent.

Next Up for the Bears

  • A trip to Mount Saint Mary for a Skyline matchup on Saturday (Jan. 27) at 1 p.m. Live stats streaming at SJCBears.com.