Six Bears finished in double-figures and each stepped up to contribute at crucial moments of the game. Junior Justin Gist (Newsome, FL/Newsome) paced St. Joseph’s (7-13) for the third straight game, matching a season-high 25 points while grabbing five rebounds. Senior Lew Monaco (Staten Island, NY/Msgr. Farrell) scored 15 points, draining four three-pointers and swiped three steals.
Senior Wilkerson Exantus (Brooklyn, NY/Nazareth) added 11 points and pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds before fouling out in the 2nd overtime, for his first double-double of the season and fourth of his career. Junior Jon Matzelle (Maspeth, NY/St. Francis Prep) tallied 13 points and grabbed seven boards, sophomore Antoine Forehand (New York, NY/Rice) chipped in 11 points and senior Mike Dziewit (Ridgewood, NY/Wadleigh) scored 10, making his third straight start, also fouling out in the 2nd overtime.
The backcourt trio of Monaco, Gist and Forehand dished out five assists each, sharing game-high honors. Freshman Matas Rascius led the way for CCNY (6-14) scoring 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting, while grabbing 12 rebounds and handing out four assists. Xavier Gonzalez also recorded a 13 point, 10 rebound double-double. Terence Johnston scored 17 points, while Ben Washington and Vincent Roberts added 11 points each.
CCNY built an early nine point lead, 11-2, hitting three three-pointers in the first two-and-a-half minutes, but would only connect on two more for the remainder of the game. After the Bears pulled within four points, a 14-4 run gave the Beavers their largest lead of the game, 36-22, at the 2:35 mark. St. Joseph’s closed out the half outscoring CCNY 11-2 to trail by five at the break, 38- 33.
The Bears carried the momentum from the first half to equalize the game at 40-all, just four minutes into the second stanza. St. Joseph’s was unable to take the lead, but tied the game three more times, before CCNY pulled away to build a seven point lead at the midway point of the half. The Bears reeled the Beavers back in again, tying the game for the fifth time, 60-60, on a Gist trifecta with six minutes left. A Forehand triple gave the Bears their first lead of the game 66-63, but it would last all of 34 seconds.
With 0:36 left in regulation and St. Joseph’s trailing by one, a Monaco three-point attempt was too strong and the Bears fouled on the ensuing rebound. Gonzalez sank two free throws to extend the Beaver lead to three, 71-68 with 0:21 remaining. Gist then dribble penetrated down the lane, kicked out to Dziewit in the left corner, who drained the clutch triple with 0:05 left to send the game into overtime.
In the first overtime, a layup from Matzelle gave St. Joseph’s their third lead of the game, but CCNY scored the next seven points unanswered, taking a 78-73 lead with 0:45 remaining. A Gist trifecta cut the deficit to one point with nine seconds left and the Bears immediately fouled Gonzalez who sank another two three throws to take a 81-78 lead with seven ticks left. With CCNY not applying any pressure, Forehand received the inbounds, dribbled down to 22 feet, pulled up and hit nothing but net, equalizing the game for an 11th time at 81-81 and force a second overtime.
In the second overtime, the Bears led for 4:15, over three times the length they led after the opening 45 minutes. Monaco created the separation in the final frame, catching on fire, sinking two deep three-pointers, after shooting only 2-for-10 from behind the arc prior. But Rascius would keep CCNY in the game, scoring six points in the frame to tie the game for the 12th and 13th times, the latter coming with two free throws at the 0:30 mark.
With the game tied at 88-88 and the shot clock turned off, St. Joseph’s held for the final shot. St. Joseph’s patiently held the ball on the perimeter until Forehand drove to the hoop with seven seconds and was fouled. As the crowd at Brooklyn Technical High School lay silent, Forehand made one of two from the charity stripe. CCNY was able to advance the ball past half court and call timeout with three seconds left to set up a final shot. They turned again to Rascius, whose fade away jumper from the right corner fell short and St. Joseph’s secured the rebound for the 89-88 victory.
St. Joseph’s defeats CCNY for the first time in their fourth meeting ever, and first since the 2005-06 season. This is the Bears first overtime game since falling to Berkeley in the 2007 HVMAC championship. CCNY played in their fourth overtime game this season, compiling a 1-3 record, and lost their seventh straight game.