In what was a very competitive game for Berkeley College's men's basketball team, the Knights made it a perfect 16-0 on the 2016-2017 season on Sunday afternoon, defeating the University of Maine at Presque Isle by a score of 68-61. The Knights also won their 40th consecutive contest as a program with the triumph, while the Owls dipped to 8-9 on the year.
The game was a back-and-forth affair in the opening 12 minutes, but a 10-1 Knights run over a span of 2:48 put Berkeley College ahead by 10 points – 30-20 – with five minutes remaining in the first half. The Knights maintained their lead, eventually taking a 38-30 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Berkeley College took its biggest lead – a 15-point edge – with 8:32 remaining in the game when Massiah Merritt connected on a jumper to put the Knights up 57-42. The University of Maine at Presque Isle refused to go quietly, as the Owls put together a 16-4 run over a span of 5:13 to cut Berkeley's lead to three points at 61-58.
The Knights' defense would tighten up down the stretch, though, as Berkeley allowed only one more opposing field goal the rest of the way, out-scoring the Owls 7-3 over the final three minutes-plus to solidify the win.
Merritt led the way for Berkeley, scoring a team-high 17 points while connecting on three three-point baskets. He also added four rebounds and three assists. Stephon Jennings nailed five of his six shot attempts to finish with 15 points while also collecting 15 ebounds, and Ricardo Ayuso and Johnnie Green added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The University of Maine at Presque Isle was led by Derek Healy, as he scored a game-high 22 points while connecting on eight of his 10 attempts from the charity stripe. He also added four rebounds, three steals, and two assists. Kevin Collins contributed 14 points, and Anthony Chacho dropped in eight points while snatching four rebounds and tallying three steals.
The Knights connected on 49 percent of their attempts from the floor (25-51) while the Owls hit on just 32.2 percent of theirs (19-59). Berkeley dominated the glass, out-rebounding the University of Maine at Presque Isle 4-26, and the Knights collected 12 assists compared to nine for the opposition.
Berkeley College will now have five days before returning to action this Saturday, as the Knights will take on Alfred State. Start-time for the contest is scheduled for 3:00pm.