The Berkeley College New York men's basketball team regained their winning ways at the New Hampshire Technical Institute's New Year’s Tournament in Concord, NH, with a 69-66 non-conference victory over the University of Maine at Augusta for a third place finish while snapping their seven game losing streak.
In their opening game against host NHTI, Berkeley jumped out to an early 8-4 lead on the home team. Freshmen Damir Redzepagic (Cardinal Spellman HS/Bronx, NY) and Kaseem Williams (Boys & Girls HS/Brooklyn, NY) scored 12 points and 11 points, respectively, to keep Berkeley within a single point at 26-25 with three minutes to play in the first half before the home team would go on a 14-4 run to end the half up by eleven points at 40-29.
Berkeley would get no closer the rest of the way as NHTI built upon their halftime advantage for an eventual 85-61 win. Williams led Berkeley with 22 points while Redzepagic registered his second double-double of the season with 15 points and a team-leading 12 rebounds and sophomore Stanley Hamp (Nazareth HS/Bronx, NY) contributed ten points.
In the consolation game against UMA, Berkeley once again jumped out to the early lead. Freshman Joshua Witsell’s (Jericho HS/Jericho, NY) layup put the Knights in front 12-4 with 16 minutes to play in the half. But UMA would fight back and took their first lead of the contest at 24-23 on a layup by their 6-5 power forward Moses Braithwaite with seven minutes remaining. But Berkeley quickly regained its composure and closed out the half with an 11-6 run with Isaiah Didier (Sheepshead Bay HS/Brooklyn, NY) hitting a 3-point jumper to put the Knights ahead 34-29 at halftime.
Berkeley started out the second half on a 16-9 run for its biggest lead of the game, 50-38, with 14 minutes to play before UMA would go on a 23-8 run of its own to lead 61-58 with seven minutes to play. From there on out the game turned into a back and forth match with both teams trading leads to the finish. Two free throws by Williams and a layup by Witsell off a steal from Hamp put Berkeley ahead for good at 66-63 for the eventual victory.
Witsell led the Knights with his second double-double of the season with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Williams added 14 points and was selected as Berkeley ’s representative to the All-Tournament Team. Honorable mention goes to UMA’s Braithwaite as the power forward was a one-man wrecking crew by scoring 37 of UMA’s 66 points and pulling down 30 rebounds in a losing effort.
Berkeley (3-7) looks to gain its first victory in the Hudson Valley Men's Athletic Conference as they travel to Albany Pharmacy next Sunday to play the Panthers at 1:00 P.M.