STANDISH, Maine – University of Southern Maine surged past Saint Joseph's College (1-4), 98-91, in non-conference men's basketball action at the Harold Alfond Center on Sunday evening.
With the win, Southern Maine reclaims the Costello Cup, which is presented annually to the winner of the rivalry matchup, as the coveted trophy heads back to Gorham for the first time since 2016. The Costello Cup is named in honor of the late Dr. Richard. "Doc" Costello, former USM Athletic Director and long-time basketball coach.
The Monks are now 18-13 in the history of the Costello Cup series, which began during the 1989-90 season.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Saint Joseph's opened the contest with a 16-2 run, as a pair of free throws from sophomore David Keohan (West Newfield, Maine) lifted the hosts to 14-point lead just four minutes into play.
The Huskies managed to claim their first lead of the night just over 10 minutes later when Jacobe Thomas (Houston, Texas) dunked to give his team a 32-30 edge. SJC managed to hold off USM for the remainder of the half and owned a 41-36 cushion going into intermission.
The Monks held a double-digit lead for a large portion of the second half as a Joseph Nuttall layup made it a 68-57 game with 10:44 on the clock. The Huskies chipped away at the deficit and trailed by just four points (71-67) when Thomas converted a layup at the 7:48 mark.
St. Joe's maintained the advantage and held an 81-75 lead after Keohan landed a layup with 3:25 left, but Southern Maine was able to push past the Royal Blue with a 15-3 outburst, which led the visitors to a 90-84 cushion with 1:01 on the clock. Forced to foul, the Monks saw the Huskies clinch the victory by making all eight attempts from the charity stripe in the closing 33 seconds.
STATS OF THE GAME:
USM held considerable advantages in bench points (25-0) and fast-break points (23-2)…Both teams shot exceptionally well from the FT line, with SJC going 18-for-22 (81.8%) from the stripe and USM making 17-of-21 (81.0%) from the line.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Junior guard Jack Casale (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) posted a double-double with 33 points and 10 rebounds; his point total is the most scored by an SJC player in the 31-game history of the Costello Cup series
- Keohan netted 19 with seven boards and five assists
- Sophomore guard Griffin Foley (Portland, Maine) added 18 points and six assists and was 4-for-5 from three-point range
- Sophomore guard Nicholas Curtis (Windham, Maine) scored 15 points with five assists
LEADERS – SOUTHERN MAINE:
- Thomas netted 38 points on 15-for-26 shooting with six rebounds and four steals – his 38 points is the most scored by any player in the 31-game history of the Costello Cup series
- DJ Anderson (Houston, Texas) added 17 points and nine rebounds
- Jay Roberts (Suwanee, Ga.) and Derek Haney (Auburn, Calif.) chipped in with 10 points apiece
Saint Joseph's will host Plymouth State University on Wednesday at 7:00 PM while Southern Maine returns to action on Wednesday with a Little East Conference contest at UMass.-Boston at 7:30 PM.