Men's Basketball: Berkeley 79, Albany Pharmacy 71

Men's Basketball: Berkeley 79, Albany Pharmacy 71

Release courtesy of Berkeley Athletics

The Berkeley College men's basketball team won its ninth consecutive victory on Sunday afternoon, rallying from a 12-point deficit to defeat the Panthers of Albany College of Pharmacy by a score of 79-71 in a Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest. The game took place at the Albert M. White Gymnasium in Albany, NY. With the win, the Knights are now 12-1 on the 2017-2018 campaign, and 3-0 in conference play. The Panthers dipped to 7-5 on the year, and 1-1 in league action. Following the game, Head Coach Jonathan Pena spoke about the resiliency of his group.

"We found ourselves trailing by double digits in the second half, but we knew we had enough time to put together a run, and we did a great job of chipping away and eventually completing the comeback," Pena said. "This was another encouraging team effort by our group, and I'm very proud of the hunger we showed today. We'll enjoy this one for a little while and then get ready for Vaughn College on Tuesday evening."

The Knights were paced in this win by Johnnie Green, as he tied for the game-high in points with 18 while connecting on eight of his 12 attempts from the floor. He also snatched a team-high 12 rebounds, including four on the offensive glass. Michael Taylor also notched 19 points while tallying game-highs of five assists and four steals, and Ricardo Ayuso added 11 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and four steals.

Despite the loss for the Panthers, Alex Johnson and Kyle Matousek tied for the team-lead with 18 points apiece. Johnson also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds while registering a pair of assists, and Matousek added seven rebounds of his own. John Ambert finalized his afternoon by connecting on six of his nine attempts from the charity stripe and finishing with 14 points.

Berkeley College trailed 37-35 at the half – and the Knights found themselves down 68-56 with 6:17 remaining in regulation. That is when the momentum of the league battle would change, as Berkeley would start its sensational comeback. Ayuso's tip-in following a shot by Green started the Knight's rally. That was followed up by a converted three-point basket by Taylor. A Shamoree Strawn hoop, another basket by Taylor, and a successful layup by Green brought Berkeley to within one point – 68-67 – with 4:12 remaining.

Later – with 2:23 remaining and the Knights trailing 70-69 – Berkeley's Jerell McLeod would make a layup to give his team a 71-70 lead. After the Panthers' Ambert would split a pair of free throws to tie the game at 71 apiece, the Knights would take the lead for good when Strawn would connect on a jumper with 1:52 remaining to give Berkeley a 73-71 edge. The Knights would not allow any more points from that point on, out-scoring Albany College of Pharmacy 6-0 the rest of the way to account for the eight-point triumph.

The Knights won the game despite struggling with its shot, as the Knights hit on just 27 of their 74 attempts from the floor. Contrarily, the Panthers hit on 41.2 percent of their attempts (21-51). Berkeley dominated on the glass, out-rebounding Albany College of Pharmacy 56-37, ans the Knights also tallied 18 assists compared to 14 by the opposition. Berkeley scored 34 points in the paint while the Panthers netted 22 there, and Albany College of Pharmacy hit on 69 percent of its free throw attempts (20-29), while Berkeley misfired on a staggering 18 free throws (18-36, 50 percent conversion rate).

Berkeley will return to action on Tuesday evening, as the Knights will look to win their tenth consecutive game and stay perfect in conference play when they take on the Warriors of Vaughn College. The game will take place at Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Start-time for the game is scheduled for 8:00pm.

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Release courtesy of ACPHS Athletics

Men's Basketball took the #1-ranked Berkeley College Knights to the brink on Sunday, but could not hold a late second half lead and fell 79-71. ACPHS drops to 7-5 on the year and 1-1 in the HVIAC, while the Knights improve to 12-1 overall and 3-0 in the league.

ACPHS came out firing in this one, jumping out to a 16-11 lead at the 11-minute mark of the first half following an old-fashioned three-point play from sophomore John Ambert (Valley Stream, NY / ArchBishop Molloy). Albany was able to hold a steady advantage until Berkeley tied the game at 24 with 3:44 left until the break. Berkeley held their largest lead of the half, five points, with only a minute left, but Albany scored the final seven points of the quarter capped off by a buzzer-beating three from senior Alex Johnson (Malone, NY) to give the Panthers a two-point lead at the break. Johnson finished the half with 11 points and nine rebounds, while Berkeley dominated down low with 13 offensive rebounds resulting in 15 second-chance points.

The half did finish with some excitement, after Albany's Brandon Votra (Saint Regis Falls, NY) and Berkeley's Nigel Hemingway were assessed technical fouls after the closing whistle. That put Votra in some foul trouble which opened the door for sophomore Evan Georgio (Bayside, NY / ArchBishop Molloy), who finished the day with five blocks, to play some impactful minutes in the second half.

Just as they did to begin the game, ACPHS came out firing after the break. They opened up with a 10-2 run thanks to some big baskets from junior Kyle Matousek (Jordan-Elbridge, NY) who finished tied for the team lead with 18 points. The Panthers again held a steady lead for the whole half, breaking the Berkeley press and holding the Knights at bay, but it would not last. A Matousek three-pointer put the Panthers up 68-56 with 6:17 left to play, but then the Knights made their move. They went on an 11-0 run in just two minutes to cut the Albany lead to one, and regained a one-point lead at the two-minute mark that they would never relinquish. In all, they closed the game out on a 23-3 run to remain unbeaten in the conference.

The Panthers got big games from Ambert, Johnson, and Matousek, with Ambert pouring in a career-high 14 points. Johnson finished with 18 points on six-of-15, and was the team's leading rebounder with 13. For the Knights, it was Michael Taylor and Johnnie Green leading the way with 19 points, with Taylor adding five assists and four steals and Green grabbing 12 rebounds. The biggest impact for the Knights arguably came from Shamoree Strawn, who scored nine points and grabbed 12 rebounds in just 14 minutes, all in the second half. On the game, Berkeley grabbed 56 boards including 27 on the offensive end, compared to just 37 and six for the Panthers.

ACPHS will look to bounce back on Saturday, January 20th when they host the College of New Rochelle.