The Berkeley College men's basketball team didn't miss a beat on Saturday afternoon, as the Knights recorded their program-record 49th consecutive victory, defeating the Mighty Oaks of SUNY-ESF by a score of 97-47 in a semifinal round game of the 2016-2017 Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. The game was played at the Wellness Center on the campus of the College of New Rochelle. With the victory, the Knights remain unblemished, improving their mark to 25-0 on the season.
The Knights – who have won eight Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships – including the last two – will shoot for yet another regional crown tomorrow afternoon at 1:00pm, as Berkeley will take on the No. 3 seeded Blue Angels of the College of New Rochelle, who defeated No. 2 seeded Vaughn College 90-83 in the 3:00pm game.
Berkeley College raced out to an early 6-0 lead in this one, thanks to a pair of baskets by Johnnie Green, and a converted layup by Stephon Jennings. SUNY-ESF stormed back to keep things interesting in the early stages, as the Mighty Oaks put together a 14-5 run to catapult ahead by a score of 14-11. That would be when the tide would turn, though. Emmanuel Osama nailed a jumper to pull the Knights within two points, and standout Ricardo Ayuso would score 12 of Berkeley College's next 14 points, as he connected on four three-point baskets during that span as the Knights went ahead 27-14.
The Knights led by as many as 24 points in the opening session before going into the locker room with a commanding 46-25 advantage. In the second half, Berkeley College gradually built its lead up to 52 before winning the game by 50.
It was a tremendous balanced effort for the Knights, as five Berkley College players scored in double figures, including Ayuso, as he scored a game-high 17 points in 17 minutes of action. Green connected on seven of his 15 attempts from the floor to finalize his afternoon with 14 points, a game-high 12 rebounds, and three blocks. Standout Massiah Merritt finished his day with 13 points, five rebounds, and a game-high four steals, and Dondre Simmons and Osama netted 12 points and 10 points respectively.
Despite the loss for SUNY-ESF, the Mighty Oaks were paced by Dan Treadwell, as he scored a game-high 17 points to go along with five assists and three rebounds. Ryan Caldwell contributed nine points, a team-high 10 rebounds, and three steals, and Jared Bard scored eight points, grabbed three rebounds, and added two assists.
The Knights dominated most of the major categories, as Berkeley College shot 47.1 percent from the floor (40-85) compared to a 28.3 conversion rate for the Mighty Oaks (17-60). Berkeley out-rebounded SUNY-ESF 64-33, and committed just 19 turnovers compared to 25 for the Mighty Oaks. The Knights tallied 25 assists on the day while SUNY-ESF recorded 10, and Berkeley won the points-in-the-paint battle, scoring 56 there while holding the Mighty Oaks to just 22.