St. Joseph’s (8-11) drops back-to-back conference games for the first time in at least 10 years and falls to the Warriors for the first time in six meetings.
Freshman David Louison (Brooklyn, NY/St. Edmund's Prep) led all scorers with 22 points, his third game with 20-plus points, on 10-of-15 shooting from the floor. Louison also pulled down eight rebounds and dished out four assists, both team highs, to fill up the stat line. Senior Justin Gist (Brooklyn, NY/Newsome) was the only other Bear to reach double-figures, scoring 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds. Freshman Vernon Maddox (Staten Island, NY/St. Peter's) chipped in nine points in a reserve role.
Ryan Burchette led four Warriors in double-figures with 18 points, connecting on 7-of-13. Jihad Ceasar, reigning HVMAC Player of the Week, and Jason Ramos each recorded double-doubles in the win. Ceasar scored 14 points with a team-high 12 rebounds and Ramos added 10 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and three assists.
Both squads traded baskets early until the Warriors scored seven unanswered to give Vaughn an early 13-6 lead. The Bears grabbed their first lead of the game on a four-point play by David Ortiz (Brooklyn, NY/Christ the King) at the midway point of the half, part of a 15-1 run that allowed St. Joseph’s build a seven point advantage. The Bears led by as many as 11 before carrying a 36-30 lead into the lockers.
With St. Joseph’s still leading 62-59 and three minutes left, the Bears struggled to put the ball in the basket down the stretch allowing Vaughn to go on a 7-0 run, ending with a critical offensive rebound surrendered off a missed free throw that resulted in a layup that gave Vaughn a 66-62 lead with 16 seconds left.
A Maddox layup with three seconds left cut the deficit to two and Ramos went 1-for-2 from the line with 1.6 seconds left to give the Bears a glimmer of hope to tie, but they were unable to connect on the full court pass to get an equalizing shot off.
After shooting 44 percent in the opening half, the Bears saw their output drop to 32 percent (11-of-34) in the second half. St. Joseph’s also struggled from the charity stripe, shooting 4-of-11 in the period and a season-worst 40 percent (6-of-15) for the game. Vaughn finished with 44 percent shooting (27-of-61) and held a slight advantage on the glass, 46-41. The Bears dominated inside the paint scoring, 28-8.