New York men's basketball team relinquishes big first half lead in 84-76 defeat at hands of Sarah Lawrence

The Berkeley College of New York men’s basketball team suffered a tough loss Thursday evening, as the Knights fell to the Gryphons of Sarah Lawrence College by a score of 84-76 in a Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game played at the Noyes Court at Campbell Sports Center in Bronxville, NY. With the loss, Berkeley dipped to 10-8 on the season, and finalized their HVIAC portion of the schedule at 4-2, while Sarah Lawrence improved to a mark of 9-12 on the year, including a 4-1 mark in conference play.

Six days after rallying from 11 points down in the final 1:37 to beat Valley Forge Christian College, the Knights found themselves on the other side of a missed opportunity, as Berkeley relinquished a 17-point first half lead and saw the Gryphons score 58 second-half points to pull off the biggest comeback in their program’s history.

Things looked promising for the Knights early on, as Berkeley held leads of 18-8 and 39-22 before entering the locker room with a commanding 14 point lead, 40-26. In the second half, Sarah Lawrence College came out a completely different team. Back-to-back three-point baskets by freshman guard Wyatt Rocheleau kick-started an 11-4 run for the Gryphons who pulled to within seven points (44-37) with 17:18 remaining in the game.

Following that run from Sarah Lawrence, the Knights responded with a mini 4-0 run over the ensuing 1:04 of play thanks to a pair of layups by senior forward Danzel Whyte. That increased Berkeley’s lead to 11 points at 48-37. The Gyphons answered that in a big way, however, putting together a 15-0 run over the next 4:22 of action to take a 52-48 lead with 11:52 remaining on the clock.

After taking the lead, Sarah Lawrence College would never trail in the game again, as the Gryphons eventually went up by as many as 11 points before finally winning the game by eight. Sarah Lawrence College – which won only two HVIAC games in their first six seasons in that conference – now have four wins in league play on stand on the precipice of their first-ever postseason berth. The Knights have already clinched a return trip to the HVIAC Tournament after winning it all last year – but their seed for this season’s tourney is still to-be-determined.

Despite the loss for Berkeley College, the Knights were paced by sophomore guard Keenan Langston, as he scored a team-high 19 points (while connecting on six of his 10 shots from the floor) to go along with four rebounds and a pair of steals. Freshman center Ahmed Dickerson added 10 points and five rebounds, as well.

In the victory for Sarah Lawrence College, the Gryphons had four players score in double figures, including freshman forward Stevan Radosavljevic, as he posted game-highs with 20 points and 11 rebounds to go along with three assists. Rocheleau finalized his night with 15 points and five caroms, and freshman forward Graham Gilleran sophomore guard Josh Niebloom scored 14 and 11 points, respectively.

Sarah Lawrence College connected on 49.1 percent of their shots for the evening (28-57), while the Knights struggled, hitting on just 36.9 percent of their attempts (30-82). The Gryphons held an 18-11 edge in the assists department, and Sarah Lawrence also swatted six shots compared to three for Berkeley. The Knights held a slight 43-40 edge on the glass, while also committing eight fewer turnovers than their opponent (Berkeley – 9, Sarah Lawrence – 17).

The Knights will look to bounce back on Saturday afternoon, as Berkeley College takes to the road to battle SUNY ESF. Game-time for that contest is scheduled for 2:00pm.