WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Regis College fell victim to a scoring run by the University of St. Joseph that spanned the end of the first half and the start of the second half, as the Blue Jays defeated the Pride, 85-68, Saturday afternoon in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference men's basketball game at the O'Connell Center.
Ademola Afonja (Staten Island, N.Y.) shot 7-of-14 from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line to lead the Pride with 19 points, setting a new school record for most points in a single season with 416. He completes his Regis career with 1,294 points, second on the all-time scoring list, plus he graduates as the program's career leader in rebounds with 666 boards and in blocked shots with 96 rejections.
Chris Childs opened the scoring for St. Joseph with a three-pointer as the Blue Jays scored the first seven points of the game. Regis scored the next six points to pull within one, but the home team slowly extended its advantage as the first half went along.
After a three-pointer by Milik Wallace (Hinesville, Ga.) closed the Regis deficit to six at 32-26, St. Joseph scored the final four points of the first half on a free throw by Sam Majek and a three-pointer by Ryan O'Neill that received a friendly bounce through the hoop. Childs hit a three-pointer to open the second half, setting the Blue Jays off on a 19-2 scoring run, capped by another Childs three-pointer.
St. Joseph (14-11, 5-6 GNAC) extended its lead to 30 points at 68-38 with 11:30 remaining in the second half after Majek scored six straight points. Regis made a furious comeback, outscoring St. Joseph 21-5 over the next seven minutes, with Devante Thompson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) scoring the final seven points of the stretch to cut the Pride deficit to 73-59 with 4:44 left in regulation. That would be as close as Regis would get, as St. Joseph scored enough points down the stretch to clinch the victory.
Thompson finished the game with 11 points, as did Marc Trinidad (Bronx, N.Y.) along with seven rebounds, while Juvens Dalger (Oakland Park, Fla.) contributed eight points, seven rebounds, four steals, and two blocked shots. As a team, Regis shot 40.6 percent (26-of-64) from the field, including 3-of-17 from behind the three-point line, and 65 percent (13-of-20) from the free throw line.
Majek hit 8-of-9 field goal attempts as he finished with 20 points, four rebounds, and three steals, while Delshawn Jackson Jr. notched a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, plus he dished out seven assists and earned four steals. Childs hit four three-pointers in the game on his way to a 19-point performance, and Jake Sullivan contributed 10 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
St. Joseph hit 47.7 percent (31-of-65) of its field goal attempts, including 7-of-17 from behind the three-point line, and 69.6 percent (16-of-23) from the free throw line. Although Regis finished with a slight rebounding edge, 40-39, the Blue Jays scored 16 second chance points off 11 offensive rebounds, and they collected 27 points off 22 Pride turnovers.
With the victory, St. Joseph qualifies for the GNAC Tournament as the seventh seed and will travel to second seed Suffolk for a quarterfinal game Tuesday, Feb. 19. Meanwhile, Regis ends up in ninth place in the regular season standings, ending its 2018-19 campaign with a 9-16 overall record, including a 4-7 mark within the GNAC.