The Berkeley College men's basketball team earned split results this weekend, as the Knights participated in the SUNY Delhi Tournament, defeating the Apprentice School on Saturday by a score of 92-62 before having its incredible 56-game program winning streak snapped by the Broncos of SUNY Delhi by a score of 87-84 on Sunday. Following the two games, Head Coach Jonathan Pena gave his thoughts.
"Obviously, this is a very emotional weekend for our program," Pena said. "First and foremost, I want to give a tremendous amount of credit to everyone that was involved in engineering this tremendous 56-game program winning streak – including all the coaches and student-athletes that were a part of it. Continuing to win game in and game out is a very daunting task, but for over two calendar years we were able to play at the highest level and keep it going. Despite the fact that we lost a game here today – we still have Regional and National championships to shoot for this season – and we're very excited about the challenges that lie ahead of us."
In the Knights' 30-point blowout win over the Apprentice School, Berkeley College was led by newcomer Michael Taylor who put forth a dominant performance, as he connected on four of six attempts from beyond-the-arc – while also nailing eight of his 15 shots overall – to finish with a game-high 25 points. Veteran Shamoree Strawn looked strong in the win as well, netting 13 points and snatching seven rebounds while adding two assists, a pair of steals, and two blocks. First-year Knight Thaddeus Hall swished nine of his 12 attempts from the charity stripe and finished with 16 points, and Nigel Hemingway added 10 points and three caroms.
Despite the loss for the Builders, Drew Walton put forth a nice performance with 16 points and six rebounds, and Romello Anderson contributed 14 points and a pair of rebounds. Finally, it was Jalen Warren adding eight points, four rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.
The Knights dominated shooting percentage in this one, nailing 46.8 percent of their attempts (29-62) compared to just 29.6 percent from the Apprentice School (21-71). Berkeley held a 50-44 edge in the rebounding department, while also scoring 34 points in the paint compared to 24 for the Builders. The Knights committed 23 turnovers while the Apprentice School turned the ball over 24 times.
In Berkeley College's loss to SUNY Delhi, things looked promising for the Knights early, as Berkeley held a 7-2 advantage in the opening stages of the game. SUNY Delhi would put together a 16-2 run over a span of 5:30 to take an 18-9 edge. The Broncos would go up by as many as 11 before heading into the locker room with a 41-34 advantage.
The Knights were finally able to catch the Broncos, taking a 55-54 lead with 12:00 remaining following a converted layup by Taylor. Hoops by Johnnie Green and Darius Ward catapulted the Knights to a 59-54 lead with 10:54 remaining in the game, but a 5-0 run over the next 57 seconds tied the game at 59 apiece.
Later – with 5:33 remaining – SUNY Delhi's Damon Denteh drained two free throws to put the Broncos ahead by a score of 65-64. SUNY Delhi led by as many as seven after that, and despite the Knights cutting the deficit to one point inside the final minute, the Broncos were able to hold of Berkeley College and end its 56-game winning streak.
Despite the loss for Berkeley College, Hall scored a team-high 19 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists, and Taylor knocked down four three point baskets and finalized his Sunday with 18 points and four rebounds. Nigel Hemingway added 13 points, and Mohammed Camara contributed 11 points.
In the win for SUNY Delhi, Denteh nailed nine of his 10 free throw attempts, while also draining four triples to finish with a game-high 21 points. Payton Dean posted a double-double with a fantastic effort, as he contributed 18 points while snatching 23 rebounds. Jake Slobe dropped-in 16 points, and William Knight had 13 points.
The Knights connected on 39.5 percent of their attempts from the floor (34-86), while SUNY Delhi hit in 23 of its 62 shots (37.1 percent). The Broncos held a 53-48 edge on the glass, while also hitting on 33 of their 42 shots from the charity stripe (78.6 percent) compared to 22.2 percent for Berkeley (4-18). The Knights recorded 19 assists compared to 10 for SUNY Delhi, and Berkeley had just 10 turnovers while the Broncos committed 16.
Berkeley College will return to action on Saturday, December 2, as the Knights will take on Florida National. Game-time will be scheduled for 5:00pm, and it will be Berkeley's first home game at the Borough of Manhattan Community College this season.