Berkeley NY Men Fall to St Joseph’s of Vermont
Rutland, VT – Despite a season high 34 points from sophomore guard/forward Keenan Langston (Brooklyn, NY/Brooklyn Academy) the NY men’s basketball team were defeated by the College of St. Joseph’s 105-96 to earn a split in their two-game swing through the state of Vermont.
After a win at Vermont Tech the previous night, the Knights (5-2) were eager to take advantage of a St Joseph’s team that was playing its fourth game in four days. Three consecutive baskets by Langston gave Berkeley an early 8-7 lead but that would be the last time they would have a lead for the rest of the game as the Fighting Saints went on a 21-9 run to take a 12-pointadvantage, their largest of the half. Berkeley slowly chipped away and would go into halftime trailing by seven at 47-40. It also marked the first game this season that Berkeley did not attempt a single free throw in a half.
The Knights responded quickly to open the second half andclosed the gap to within four on a Langston jumper at 53-49 but another St. Joseph’s run would balloon the lead again to a dozenat 62-50. Nevertheless, Berkeley kept gradually chipping away at the Saints lead and when junior forward Shawn Collins (Brooklyn, NY/Newton) nailed a three-pointer from the corner the Knights were within three 78-75 with 6:44 remaining in the game. But that was the closest they would get as St. Joseph’s would hold a double-digit lead for the remainder of the game. Trailing 95-83 with 1:19 to play the Knights would make one final push. A layup by senior guard Jovan Bovell (Jamaica, NY/Jamaica) cut the lead to ten, then a St Joseph’s turnover was converted into an old-fashioned three point play by Langston to cut the deficit to seven at 95-88. The Knights’ defense forced yet another St. Joseph’s turnover that Langston nearly missed converting into an “and one”. His free pulled Berkeley to within six 95-89 with 53 seconds to play but St. Joseph’s would win the game on free throws to seal the victory.
In addition to scoring 34 points, Langston also dished out a team high eight assists. Senior guard Rich Rampersad (Bronx, NY/Lehman) finished with 18 points, including four three-pointers, all in the second half. Bovell was the third Knight to reach double-digit scoring with 12 points while earning five assists. Other contributors to Berkeley’s effort came from senior guard Mario Guzman (New York, NY/West Oaks Academy) with eight rebounds and five assists and senior center Elijah Craig (Brooklyn, NY/Seward Park) with seven rebounds and four blocks.
Dre Anderson led St. Joseph’s (8-6) with 33 points.
Berkeley travels to Wilkes-Barre, PA next weekend to play in the King’s College Monarch Classic. The Knights will face Wilkes University Saturday at 6:00PM followed by a Sunday matinee against the host Monarchs at 3:00PM.