PRESQUE ISLE, ME – The #1 USCAA ranked Berkeley College Knights (16-0) remained undefeated by surviving a visit to the University of Maine at Presque Isle (8-9) on Sunday afternoon. After the Owls staged a furious comeback to threaten the Knights' win streak, Berkeley would hold on to take a 68-61 victory.
Berkeley was efficient offensively throughout the matchup, shooting 49% from the floor in the game. They were finally able to get some separation late in the first half and be up by ten with five minutes before intermission. The Owls would cut into that deficit, and make it a 38-30 game at the half. The Knights would hold a double-digit lead for much of the second half and with 9:50 left to play they would stretch it to a 15-point advantage. The Owls defense would step up when it was needed most, creating turnovers and giving their offense a chance. Anthony Chacho (JR, Watertown, CT) would hit three-point baskets on consecutive possessions, Nick Lenhard (SR, Falcon, CO) would get a layup to go down in traffic, and Derek Healy (SR, Hanover, MA) would convert a three-point basket of his own to go with some free throws to pull the Owls to within three points of Berkeley with just over three minutes to play. The Knights would use a timeout to regroup and regain their composure offensively. For the remainder of the game they were able to take care of the ball, and put the Owls down by making their free throws. Berkeley would hold on to win by seven, and have now won 40 consecutive games, a streak that dates back to early last season.
Healy would be the leading scorer in the game with 22 points. He would also contribute four rebounds, two assists, and three steals. Kevin Collins (JR, Oxon Hill, MD) scored 14. Berkeley was led by Massiah Merrit (SR, Brooklyn, NY) who would score 17 points. Stephon Jennings (SR, New York, NY) tallied a double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.
The Owls will go on the road to meet in-state USCAA rivals Central Maine Community College (11-5). The Mustangs are ranked #9 in the last USCAA poll. The two teams back in November in Presque Isle, a contest the Owls won 54-52. The rematch will be on Wednesday and is scheduled for 7:30 PM.