The CACC grabbed the spotlight with six games on Tuesday, and we begin the recap with the last club in the region to finally taste defeat in conference play:
CALDWELL 75 DOMINICAN 60
A.J. Kittles led five starters in double figures with 16 points and four assists as Caldwell decked Dominican at the Hennessy Center, snapping the Chargers’ seven-game win streak, handing them their first conference defeat and avenging an early-season home loss, all in one fell swoop. The Cougars – who have now won four in a row in climbing to third in the North Division – led from start to finish, putting the first eight points on the scoreboard and maintaining a double-digit lead the entire second half, with the margin peaking at 59-41 following a Vaughn Covington 3-pointer with 7:52 to play. Ned Ogoemesim (13 points, seven rebounds), Ahmad Harrison (12 points, seven boards, five assists), Manley Dorme (12 points on 6-of-7 shooting) and Covington (12 points, eight rebounds, four helpers) all made key contributions for the winners, who were the more accurate shooters on the evening (50%-40%). Ian Gardener topped the Dominican ledger with 21 points (8-13 FG), followed by DJ Rodwell, who tallied 11, including the 1,000th of his career. The Chargers – who were receiving votes in the just-released NABC Coaches’ Poll – were a bit better on the boards (35-34) but never threatened after intermission in seeing their divisional lead shrink to a half-game. The match-up was marred by 54 fouls (30 on the hosts) and featured ice-cold, long-range shooting (CU 4-14, DC 3-21).
BLOOMFIELD 108 FELICIAN 98
Bloomfield is nipping at Dominican’s heels after outscoring fellow Garden State rival Felician in North Jersey in a fast-paced game with lots of missed shots (BC snatched 60 rebounds and FU 49). After spotting their guests a 25-18 lead, the Bears used a 7-0 spurt over the last 1:18 of the half to surge in front for good at 49-43. The Golden Falcons were still within striking distance at 59-57 with 13-and-a-half minutes left when the hosts rattled off nine unanswered – capped by a Rich Chapman 3-pointer – to open up a 68-57 advantage. After the visitors chopped the deficit down to 72-67 roughly three minutes later, the sophomore forward – who racked up a career-high 29 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots – sparked another 9-2 flurry that boosted the lead to 81-69 with 7:22 remaining; the margin hovering between eight and 14 the balance of the ballgame. Dontay Julius busted out with a career-high 32 points and six rebounds for Bloomfield, though oddly, he shot better from the floor (12-17) than the foul line (8-15). Keith Washington compiled 26 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Kavione Green totaled 11, 15 and six, respectively, as the Bears won despite being trounced 30-11 off turnovers. Dee-End McRae (15 points, six boards off the bench), Jay’von Jackson (13, 8), Richard Shimou (12, 6) and Jaylen Colon (10 points, five assists) were impactful for Felician, which slipped into fourth place with the loss. Both teams were dreadful from distance (BC 5-29, FU 7-29) but finished with more assists than miscues (BC 21/15, FU 18/12).
HOLY FAMILY 84 GOLDEY-BEACOM 68
Patrick Robinson continued his recent run of excellence, registering 22 points (6-8 FG, 9-10 FT), nine rebounds and five assists in leading Holy Family past Goldey-Beacom in Pike Creek to snare second place in the South. The Tigers led the entire way, bolting out to a 25-8 advantage before taking a 31-20 edge into the locker room. The Lightning – who were spearheaded by Mahir Johnson’s 19 points and six rebounds – reduced its deficit to single digits just once after play resumed – at 33-25 after a Johnson trey – before Dymir Montague (15 points, six caroms) connected from long range 19 seconds later, initiating a 20-8 upswing that provided breathing room at 53-33. The lead swelled to 74-48 on a Robinson lay-up with 6:01 to go, and that was all she wrote. Kharon Randolph chimed in with 20 points and four assists for the victors, who also received a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double from Vincenzo Dalessandro. Corey Taite (16 points, four assists) and Giovanny Jones (14 points, 16 rebounds) rounded out the top scorers for Goldey, which was outshot from the field (44%-34%) and outworked at the stripe (27-31 to 11-14) in falling to third place.
JEFFERSON 73 SCIENCES 52
Jefferson increased its South Division lead to 2.5 games after routing crosstown rival University of the Sciences at Morgan Arena for its region-high 10th straight triumph. Deondre Bourne led a balanced Rams scorecard with 20 points (4-6 from downtown Philly) and four assists as his club led from pillar to post, using a 14-0 spree in expanding a 17-15 game to 31-15. The divide remained in double figures throughout the second half, maxing out at 64-42 on a Kylan Guerra triple with 9:07 on the clock as Jefferson’s win streak reached double digits for the first time since a 16-game hot stretch during the 2009-10 campaign. Josh Bradanese notched 17 points (7-9 FG, 3-5 from deep) and seven rebounds in 39 minutes for the Rams, who also placed Guerra (16 points, 5-7 FG, 2-2 from 3, nine assists) and Prince Hickson (12 points, nine boards, three blocks) in twin figures. Brandon Crawford was the lone bright spot for the Devils with a dozen points as his team was soundly outshot (53%-34%), including from beyond the arc (9-15 to 6-18). USciences held a 17-7 advantage on mistake points, for small consolation.
GEORGIAN COURT 104 CHESTNUT HILL 83
In a battle of two teams not likely playoff bound, Georgian Court crushed Chestnut Hill in Lakewood to halt a 10-game slide, recording several program records along the way, including most points and most lopsided victory. The Lions led the whole night, racing out to leads of 25-8 and 42-12 en route to a 46-18 halftime bulge. The beat-down continued into the second stanza as the gap crested at 68-31 (the biggest lead in the program’s six-year history) before the Griffins pressed their way back to the fringes of competitiveness, slashing their deficit down to 19 on four occasions over the last three minutes before finally succumbing. Justin Figueroa (4-5 FG, 10-12 FT, four assists), Caleb Bowser (eight dimes) and Kristian Alexander (7-7 FG, 5-5 from long distance) each netted 19 for the hosts (a personal best for the latter), while Matt Ringel nearly matched the trio with 18 points (7-10 FG, 5-5 from beyond the arc) and Sean Barksdale offered 13 points in a reserve role – the first time the team has ever produced five double-figure scorers in a game. Ed McWade established a career high with 31 points (10-14 FG, 9-11 FT) and eight rebounds for Chestnut Hill, which also landed Billy Miller VI (15 points off the bench, 4-7 from afar), Dexter Thompson (10 points, 5-6 FG) and Amir Warrick (10 bench points, 8-11 FT) in double figures. Georgian Court shot at a higher clip (57%-49%) but both teams sizzled after the break (CHC 63%, GCU 60%) as they combined for 123 points (CHC 65, GCU 58). The Lions were white-hot from behind the 3-point line (14-23 compared to CHC’s 7-19) and distributed the “lion’s share” of assists: 24-11.
POST 82 NYACK 62
Marcus Johnson amassed 21 points (8-12 FG) and 16 rebounds, while Tyshon Rogers also double-doubled with 17 and 10, respectively, as Post drubbed Nyack at the Drubner Center to remain within striking distance in the North Division playoff picture. The Eagles withstood only one deficit (2-0) and used a 31-10 blitz spanning the halves as their modest 34-30 lead ballooned to 65-40 following a lay-up by Isaiah Holmes (13 points) with 10:58 to play. The Warriors – who were headed by Gemaal Davis’ 16-point (3-3 from 3), six-rebound bench outing – never challenged thereafter; the margin bouncing between 18 and 23 the remainder of the game as the visitors fell for a seventh straight outing. Junior Graham and Curtis Thompson each contributed 10 points in a losing effort as Nyack’s reserves outscored the starting five, 35-27. Post – which is two games out of fourth place but three games back in the loss column – outshot the Warriors (47%-29%), outmuscled them in the paint (56-22) and garnered nearly three times as many second-chance points (20-7), offsetting a free-throw disparity (NC 18-23, PU 7-7).
Two regional teams are listed in the latest NABC/Division 2 Top 25 Coaches’ Poll: St. Anselm climbs three spots to #17, Daemen also ascends three positions to #20 and St. Thomas Aquinas drops out from #25. Dominican is receiving votes for the first time this season. Northwest Missouri State – the only remaining undefeated team in D2 – replaces Bellarmine (KY) at the #1 spot.