STANDISH, Maine – Senior guard Ian Mileikis (Auburn, Maine) registered a triple-double with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to help Saint Joseph's College (12-3, 2-1 GNAC) rally past University of Saint Joseph (9-8, 0-3 GNAC), 98-87, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's basketball matchup at the Harold Alfond Center on Saturday afternoon.
The triple-double posted by Mileikis is just the fourth in SJC men's basketball history and first since Noah LaRoche '06 tallied 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 99-91 overtime victory over Thomas College on January 25th, 2006.
Steve Schuler '93 recorded the first triple-double in team history with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists versus Thomas College on December 12th, 1992. Head Coach Rob Sanicola '99, a former standout player at Saint Joseph's, notched the Monks' second triple-double during his senior season.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Monks trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half and headed into intermission trailing 52-40, but opened the second stanza with a 16-3 run, which was capped by a Mileikis three-pointer and the hosts ahead, 56-55, four minutes into the final frame.
The conference counterparts swapped the lead six times over the following 10 minutes with the Monks claiming the advantage for good, as it played out, when Mileikis made a layup to make it a 75-74 game with 6:29 remaining.
The Blue Jays remained within two possessions and trailed by three points (86-83) after freshman forward Noreaga Davis (Bridgeport, Conn.) converted a layup with 3:07 left. But the Monks scored six unanswered points in a matter of 70 seconds to claim a 92-83 advantage and ultimately put the game out of reach.
STATS OF THE GAME:
Free throw shooting proved to be a factor, as the Monks posted a 75% (18-24) effort from the line while the Blue Jays shot 57.7% (15-26) from the stripe…USJ shot 55.9% (19-34) from the floor in the first half but cooled to the tune of a 37.5% (12-32) effort in the second half…The Monks posted a scorching 71.4% (20-28) field goal percentage in the second frame, the team's best shooting effort in a half since SJC shot 75.7% (28-37) in a win over UNE on December 30th, 2017.
LEADERS – SAINT JOSEPH'S:
- Mileikis tallied 30 points, 11 boards, 10 assists, and four steals and was 10-12 from the floor and 8-9 from the FT line; the senior captain played 38 minutes without committing a turnover
- Sophomore guard Jack Casale (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) was 5-9 from three-point distance with 26 points, seven rebounds, and three assists
- Senior guard Darian Berry (Rochester, N.H.) added 19 points, three caroms, and three assists
- Senior forward Marc Corey (Londonderry, N.H.) chipped in with 14 points and three rebounds
- Sophomore point guard Tatsuaki Sakai (Ishikawa, Japan) dealt seven assists with zero turnovers in 28 minutes
LEADERS – UNIVERSITY OF SAINT JOSEPH:
- Freshman guard Delshawn Jackson, Jr. (Hartford, Conn.) was 7-11 from downtown with 32 points, four rebounds, four assists, and three steals
- Sophomore forward Mike Sagay (Bloomfield, Conn.) added 12 points and six rebounds
- Davis contributed nine points and three boards
- Freshman guard Ryan O'Neill (Litchfield, Conn.) chipped in with seven points, seven assists, and four rebounds
Today's matchup between SJC and USJ was the first-ever in men's basketball action, as USJ - formerly a women-only university – is in its first year as a co-educational institution.
Saint Joseph's will host Bowdoin College in a non-conference contest on Tuesday at 8:00 PM.