College of St. Joseph's men's basketball team fell 90-84 to Villa Maria College on Friday, Jan. 11 in Rutland. The Vikings are defending champions of the Northeast Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NIAC) and won two games at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association's (USCAA) 2017-18 National Tournament.
The Fighting Saints were efficient in their 2019 opener, shooting 51.6 percent from the field (33-of-64) and 70 percent (14-of-20) from the foul line. Villa shot 45.5 percent (35-of-77) and 60.9 percent from the free throw line (14-of-23). Neither team shot well from long range; Villa notched six threes during the contest, with DeJaun Owens accounting for four, and CSJ recorded four 3-pointers (Mickalous Snowden had three).
Both teams battled consistently throughout the contest - there were four ties and four lead changes throughout. CSJ had 28 bench points to Villa's 26 and 33 points off turnovers to the Villa's 17. The Vikings edged the Saints 27-2 in second chance points and 53-33 in rebounds. The Vikings' largest lead was 11 points about midway through the first half, but CSJ stayed in the game and trailed by just eight points, 48-40, at halftime.
CSJ's Charles Isaac Jr. led all scorers at halftime with 19 points. He shot 9-for-12 from the field in the first half and 1-for-2 from three. Owens had 17 at halftime and Dominic Douglas had 14 first-half points for Villa.
The Fighting Saints outscored the Vikings in the second half 44-42, but time expired before CSJ could complete the comeback. Isaac scored 16 points in the second half of play. Snowden shot 3-of-5 from the field, 2-of-4 from three and 4-for-4 from the foul line for 12 points in the half and Brian Kennedy recorded 10.
Isaac led all scorers with 35 points. The senior shot 15-of-21 from the field (71 percent) and had six steals. Kennedy recorded 16 points, four assists and three steals and Snowden had 15 points, six rebounds and four assists.
The Fighting Saints fell to 5-12 and Villa Maria improved to 15-1. CSJ plays next on Monday, Jan. 14 at the Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences at 7pm.