Berkeley College's Rodnesha Diamond Competes in CBC Championship

The Berkeley College (NY) Women's Basketball team has solidified itself as one of the United States Collegiate Athletic Conference's premiere squads, as the Knights are coming off of their second straight season in which they qualified for at least the semifinal round of the USCAA National Women's Basketball Tournament. Winning a National title will once again be the primary goal for Berkeley during the 2014-2015 campaign, and for one member of the women's basketball team – preparation for achieving that feat is already underway.

Berkeley College women's basketball player Rodnesha Diamond – who was honored with the "Coaches Award" at the First Annual Berkeley College Athletic Banquet this past May – is currently competing in the CBC Championship (Caribebasket).

The CBC Championship is a FIBA-sponsored basketball tournament in which National teams from the Caribbean participate. These countries comprise the Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC). The top three or four teams earn berths to the Centrobasket Championship where those squads compete for sports in the FIBA Americas Championship. Teams that advance in the FIBA Americas Championship can qualify for the FIBA World Championships or Olympics. Berkeley College Women's Basketball Head Coach Sharod Tomlinson believes this experience will greatly benefit Rodnesha Diamond.

"Rodnesha is competing against a plethora of great players in these games," Tomlinson said. "Players that she's going up against have played at the Division I and II levels, and some of them have professional basketball experience. Having the opportunity to compete against great players will allow her to display her talents to the world, and she will gain a tremendous amount of confidence heading into her upcoming season of basketball at Berkeley College. It will also serve as a positive life experience for her, as this will increase her leadership skills as a person. I'm excited for her, and proud of her initiative."

There are currently 24 Caribbean countries that may compete in this event, and the celebration of the tournament typically takes place every two years. Diamond – who is a native of St. Vincent – is playing for the St. Vincent and Grenadines teams.

The Berkeley College women's basketball team will begin its season on the road the weekend of November 8-9, when the Knights will take on Southern Maine Community College and the University of Maine-Machias on back-to-back afternoons.


Berkeley College (NY) Men's Basketball Player Alexander Loniakan Named to HVIAC Winter-Spring All Academic Team

Earlier this month, the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced its 2014 Winter-Spring All Academic Team, and the Berkeley College Department of Athletics is proud to announce that New York Men’s Basketball player Alexander Loniakan was one of 90 student-athletes recognized on that squad. Instituted by the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the 2010-2011 season, the All-Academic Team is comprised of student-athletes who excel both on the court/field, and in the classroom.

“Alex is a phenomenal student who is very dedicated to his studies,” Head Coach Chris Christiansen said. “His diligent efforts in school will make his transition into the workforce smooth and successful. As it pertains to his athletic ability, Alex has always served as a great teammate and influence. He was a hard worker who always kept the mood light. Our club is going to miss his contributions next season.”

Loniakan is an International Business major, and currently holds a 3.9 GPA. He is scheduled to graduate this August.

This past March, he was honored by the United States Collegiate Athletic Association at the conference’s National Tournament banquet, as the Swedish guard was tabbed to the Academic All-American team for the 2013-2014 season.

The All-Academic Team consists of student-athletes who have reached sophomore academic standing and have earned a 3.5 cumulative grade point average or better at the conclusion of the spring semester, and participate in one of the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s winter or spring sports – men's and women's basketball, women's swimming, men's volleyball, men's tennis, softball and baseball.


Slow start too much for Berkeley College (NY) women's basketball team to overcome as Knights fall to Mustangs 56-48 in semifinals of 2014 USCAA National Basketball Tournament

The Berkeley College (NY) women’s basketball team’s push for a return trip to the USCAA National Basketball Tournament Championship Game was cut short, as the No. 4 seeded Knights fell to the No. 1 seeded Mustangs of Central Maine C.C. by a score of 56-48 Friday evening at the Main Arena in Uniontown, PA.

A slow start doomed the Knights in their loss to the Mustangs, as Berkeley missed its first nine shots from the floor and fell behind 9-0 just 4:46 into the game. Knights junior forward Patricia Patterson got her team on the board when she nailed a three-point basket to pull Berkeley to within six points at 9-3.

Unfortunately for the Knights, Patterson’s three-point basket would account for one of only seven shots Berkeley would sink in the game’s first 20 minutes, as the Mustangs held the Knights to 18.4 percent shooting in the opening stanza (7-38) and took a 32-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The early stages of the second half saw Central Maine C.C. expand its lead, as the Mustangs increased their edge to 19 points – 43-24 – with 15:58 remaining in the game. Just as it appeared the Knights were going to go quietly, they began their run.

Junior forward Milan Germany converted on a layup with 15:00 remaining, and the All-American standout later drilled two free throws to bring her team to within 15 points at 43-28 with 14:32 left on the clock. The Knights spent the ensuing 6:26 of the game chipping away, as Berkeley eventually would slice the Mustangs’ lead to seven at 47-40 with just over eight minutes remaining.

Central Maine C.C. sophomore guard Susie French would connect on a three-point basket with a little under seven minutes remaining to put the Mustangs back up by double figures – 50-40. The Knights - despite keeping the game close and giving themselves a chance – were only able to convert on two fields in the closing eight minutes of game – and never got closer than seven points down – as the Mustangs held on for an eight point victory.

Despite the loss for Berkeley College, it was Germany pacing the Knights with a team-high 20 points, and game-highs in rebounds with 16 and blocks with three. Patterson added seven points, 12 rebounds, and three steals, as well.

In the victory for the Mustangs, Central Maine C.C. was paced by the hot shooting of French, as she nailed nine of her 20 attempts from the floor en route to finishing with a game-high of 22 points. She also snatched nine rebounds, dished five assists, and collected three steals. Sophomore forward Laura Soohey added 12 points and a team-high 12 rebounds, as well.

Neither team shot well from the floor, as the Mustangs hit on just 30.8 percent of their attempts (20-65), while the Knights were only able to nail 15 of their 74 shots (20.3 percent). The Mustangs held a slight edge in the rebounding department, grabbing 57 caroms to Berkeley’s 54, and Central Maine C.C. dished 14 assists to the Knights’ seven. Berkeley scored 25 points off of 26 Mustang turnovers, while Central Maine C.C. netted 21 points off of 21 Knights mistakes.

With the loss, Berkeley’s season finalized at 14-7. Central Maine Community College – who improved to a mark of 28-2 with Friday’s triumph – lost the title game to Cincinnati-Clermont on Saturday evening, 69-51.


Berkeley College (NJ) men's basketball team wraps-up 2013-2014 season with 84-72 victory over Central Penn in consolation game of 2014 USCAA National Basketball Tournament

The Berkeley College (NJ) men’s basketball team finalized their season in winning fashion Friday morning, turning back Central Penn by a score of 84-72 at the Maltho Gymnasium in the consolation bracket of the 2014 USCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. With the win, Berkeley capped their 2013-2014 campaign with a 19-11 overall record.

A three-point basket by sophomore guard Dukens Germain gave the Knights their biggest lead of the first half – a 34-28 edge – with 4:24 remaining in the opening session. Central Penn would then finish the half strong, going on a 10-4 run to knot the game at 38 apiece as the teams headed into the locker room at halftime.

In the second half, Berkeley College took control of the contest. The Knights built a 12 point lead – 61-49 – and never let Central Penn get any closer than seven points down.

Five players scored in double figures for Berkeley College, including freshman guard William Morton who played 26 minutes off of the bench and posted a team-high 18 points and a game-high seven steals. Sophomore guard Andrew Tomlin netted 13 points, grabbed four rebounds, dished three assists, and collected three steals. Additionally, freshman center Thaddeus Dalton dropped-in 13 points, snatched six caroms and blocked two shots, and Germain and sophomore guard Hassan Abdullah scored 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Central Penn was paced by Devon Dorsey who posted game-highs in points with 22 and rebounds with 14 in a losing cause. Maalik Rochester added 12 points, nine rebounds and two steals, and Rafeeg Bush netted 10 points and snatched four rebounds.

Berkeley’s defense was phenomenal all game, as the Knights forced 27 Central Penn turnovers while collecting 20 steals. Additionally, Berkeley held Central Penn to just 35.7 percent shooting (25-70), and the Knights’ bench outscored Central Penn’s 39-10.

Jubilation after Midnight: Berkeley College (NY) women's basketball team punches ticket to USCAA National Tournament semifinals with 77-75 overtime victory over Penn State Beaver in quarterfinals

For the second consecutive season, the Berkeley College (NY) women’s basketball team will be playing in the semifinals of the USCAA National Basketball Tournament, as earlier this morning, the No. 4 seeded Knights outlasted the No. 5 seeded Nittany Lions of Penn State Beaver in the quarterfinal round by a score of 77-75 in overtime at the Maltho Arena in Uniontown, PA. With the victory, the Knights now advance to play No. 1 seeded Central Penn tomorrow evening in the Main Arena at 9:00pm, with a chance to qualify for the National Championship Game. With the loss, Penn State Beaver will battle Warren Wilson in the consolation bracket tomorrow at 4:00pm.

In a game that lasted two hours and six minutes and concluded at 12:56am, the Knights took their fans on a roller coaster ride. At the half, Penn State Beaver led Berkeley by a score of 39-30, and the Nittany Lions ballooned their lead up to 14 – 52-38 – with 14:14 remaining in the contest. At that point, the Knights began storming back.

Senior guard Aiyesha Brown started Berkeley’s push by nailing a three-point basket. Following a turnover by Penn State Beaver’s Cassandra Flowers, junior guard Janay Thomas drilled a triple to bring the Knights to within eight points at 52-44. The Nittany Lions would then turn the ball over again, which led to Brown driving in for a layup to cut her team’s deficit to six points. With 12:39 remaining in the game, the Knights found themselves trailing 52-46.

Penn State Beaver then responded with a modest 5-3 run to push back ahead 57-49, but a 9-0 Berkeley College run – capped by a three-point basket by junior forward Milan Germany – put the Knights up one – 58-57. It was the first time the Knights held a lead since being up 23-22 with 7:12 remaining in the first half.

After a basket by Nittany Lions guard Natalie Gamble gave Penn State Beaver the lead again at 59-58, Berkeley scored the next eight points (a spurt that included a basket and two converted freebees by Thomas, a pair of made free throws by Brown, and a layup by Germany) to go back up 66-59 with 4:15 remaining in the game.

Penn State Beaver – despite relinquishing a 14 point lead earlier in the stanza and finding themselves in between a rock and a hard place – didn’t quit. A layup by flowers, a pair of free throws by sophomore guard Morgan Kurtz, and another two freebee conversions by Flowers pulled the Nittany Lions back to within a point – 66-65 – with just under two minutes remaining.
Later, with the Knights holding a 69-67 lead, Penn State Beaver sophomore guard Khalia Adams would convert on a layup to tie the game. With only five seconds remaining in regulation, Thomas took the inbounds pass and began to dribble before giving the ball up to Germany. Germany only got to half court before heaving a desperation shot that was off, sending the game into an extra session.

The Nittany Lions scored the first four points of the extra session – all at the line – as Penn State Beaver held a 73-69 lead. A layup by Thomas brought Berkeley to within two points with 1:28 to go, but the Nittany Lions responded with a converted layup by Adams. With 1:13 remaining, the Knights found themselves down four points.

On Berkeley’s next possession, Germany nailed a three pointer from the corner to pull her team to within a point at 75-74. On Penn State Beaver’s next possession, Thomas came up with a huge steal, snatching the ball away from Nittany Lions freshman guard Mason Depetro and driving all the way to the hoop before laying it in, giving Berkeley a 76-75 edge.

The Nittany Lions still had a chance to take the lead, but on their next possession, freshman guard Sydnee Abernathy would miss a layup. The ball was rebounded by Flowers, who would then turn the ball over. On Berkeley’s next possession, Germany would turn the ball over, as Abernathy would come up with the steal and feed Kurtz, who would have her layup blocked by the Knights’ Tiera Williams. Williams then grabbed the ball and was fouled.

Williams then went to the charity stripe, where she knocked down the first of her two attempts. The second attempt was off, and the rebound was grabbed by Flowers. Penn State Beaver would turn the ball over in the front court, though, and Aiyesha Brown would run out the clock to give Berkeley an exhilarating two point overtime victory in the quarterfinal round.

Thomas and Brown were tied for the game-high in points scored, as both standouts netted 25 points. Thomas also tallied four steals, grabbed three rebounds, and dished three assists, and Brown had a game-high six steals while pulling down three rebounds. Germany posted a double-double with 16 points and a team-high 11 rebounds, and forward Patricia Patterson dropped-in nine points while snatching 10 boards.

In a losing effort for Penn State Beaver, the Nittany Lions got 22 points from Kurtz, who connected on 11 of her 15 attempts from the charity stripe. She also grabbed 10 rebounds as well. Flowers put together one of the more stellar performances in recent quarterfinal round history, as she posted a double-double with 20 points, and game-highs in rebounds with 23 and blocks with four. Adams struggled with her shot, nailing just four of 16 attempts from the floor, but she did finish with 11 points.

The Knights won the game despite missing 17 free throws (15-32, 46.9 percent), and getting out-rebounded by an astounding margin of 68-35. Berkeley College’s defense was fantastic, however, as the Knights forced 30 Penn State Beaver turnovers, and swatted nine shots compared to six for the Nittany Lions. Finally, Berkeley held an 18-9 edge in the steals department.

Keep it posted to Berkeley College’s athletics website - http://berkeleycollege.edu/athletics/ - for all of the latest 2014 USCAA National Basketball Tournament information.