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STANDISH, Maine – Junior guard Jack Casale (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) tallied 31 points, 19 rebounds, and seven assists to help launch Saint Joseph's College (1-2) past Husson University (2-3), 90-83, in a non-conference men's basketball game at the Harold Alfond Center on Saturday afternoon.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Monks held a 13-point (31-18) lead after sophomore Griffin Foley (Portland, Maine) knocked down a three-pointer with 9:50 left in the first half but the pesky Eagles refused to go away and trailed by just two points (48-46) heading into intermission.
Early in the second half the visitors maintained a deficit of six points or less until they netted seven unanswered points with DJ Bussey (Peoria, Ariz.) capping the surge with a layup and his team in the lead, 57-56, with 12:57 left to play.
With the score tied at 59-59 nearly two minutes later, St. Joe's gained some separation with seven straight points as part of an impressive 23-6 offensive surge that ended with a Foley trifecta and the hosts holding a game-high 17-point (82-65) cushion with 6:13 remaining.
Husson was able to cut the SJC lead down to five points (88-83) when senior center Bruce St. Peter (Ellsworth, Maine) made a pair of freebies to close out a 10-0 run with 24 seconds left, but Casale iced the game with two free throws of his own four seconds later to account for the 90-83 triumph.
CAPTURE THE CUP:
With the victory, Saint Joseph's claims the Alumni Cup for the second-consecutive season and second time in the three years in which the coveted trophy has been in existence. The Monks tipped the Eagles, 78-74, in Bangor last winter and suffered an 82-75 setback to their in-state rival in the first Cup matchup on November 18th, 2017.
STATS OF THE GAME:
The Monks posted a respectable 37.9% (11-29) three-point shooting rate while the Eagles struggled from downtown with an 11.1% (3-27) clip.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Casale enjoyed a breakout contest, shooting 12-for-19 from the floor with a career-high 19 rebounds, the most by an SJC player since Ray Eatmon '10 pulled down 21 versus Daniel Webster College on December 8th, 2007
- Foley was hitting nearly everything from beyond the arc and finished the game with 19 points off a 5-for-6 three-point effort; the sophomore also tallied six assists and five rebounds
- Sophomore guard Nicholas Curtis (Windham, Maine) contributed 19 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals
- Sophomores Zac Manoogian (Westbrook, Maine) and David Keohan (West Newfield, Maine) chipped in with nine points apiece
LEADERS – HUSSON:
- Junior guard Justin Thompson (Millinocket, Maine) came off the bench to lead the Eagles with 17 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and four steals
- Sophomore forward Brett Cunningham (Harrah, Okla.) netted 16 points with six caroms
- Freshman forward Scott Lewis (South Portland, Maine) was 6-for-nine from the floor with 14 points and three boards in 16 minutes off the bench
Saint Joseph's is now 38-50 all-time versus Husson University and has defeated the Eagles in consecutive meetings for the first time since 2002, when the Monks defeated their rivals in three-straight meetings in the same calendar year.
Saint Joseph's will play at UMaine-Farmington on Tuesday at 7:30 PM.