Men’s Basketball Holds Off Saint Rose Surge; Nets Third Straight Victory
PLEASANTVILLE, NY- Jamaal James (Brooklyn, NY/Brooklyn College Academy) netted a game-high 16 points to lead the Setters past the Saint Rose Golden Knights 59-54 in Northeast-10 Conference action. Pace, winners of their last three, improve their record to 6-16 overall and 4-12 in the NE-10, while the Golden Knights fall to 9-13 and 6-9 in conference play.
The Setters raced out to an 11-6 lead in the first five and half minutes behind six points from James. Pace extended to a lead of 21-16 following a Kai Smith (Upper Marlboro, MD/St. Mary's Ryken) trifecta at the 10:52 mark. The Golden Knights rallied, pulling even at 26 at the 6:02 mark and briefly took their first lead of the game at 27-26 with 5:05 to play. Pace answered with a Smith triple and a James lay-up to retake the lead and headed to halftime in the lead at 33-29.
Saint Rose scored the first four points of the second half in the first minute to even the score at 33. Denzel Primus-Devonish (Riverdale, MD/St. John's College) knocked down a three-pointer to start a 10-2 run that he later capped with a pair of free throws with 16 minutes left in the game to stake the Setters to a 43-35 lead. The Golden Knights rallied with an 11-2 run capped by a three-point play by Dominykas Milka as Saint Rose again took a slim one point advantage at 46-45 at the 11:04 mark.
Pace answered with a Smith three ball on their ensuing possession and Jonathan Merceus (Union, NJ/Union) added a hoop to put the Setters up four points. Saint Rose countered with an 8-0 run over an 8+ minutes stretch as the teams exchanged empty possessions from the 8:16 mark to the 2:51 mark as the Golden Knights pulled ahead 54-50 with 1:42 left in the game.
Primus-Devonish took over late as he connected on a three-pointer on the next Setter possession to cut the score down to one. Saint Rose missed on their next possession and Primus Devonish assisted on a James lay-up with 40 seconds left to put the Setters in the lead for good. Primus-Devonish came up with a key block on the defensive side and went 2-for-2 with five ticks on the clock for a three point Pace lead. He then stole the inbound pass, heading to the line again where he knocked down both shots to secure the win.
For the Setters, James totaled 16 points and seven rebounds, while Merceus added 11 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Primus-Devonish posted a double-double with 12 points, a career-high 12 rebounds along with eight assists and three steals. Smith went 4-for-9 from downtown, finishing with 12 points.
The Setters travel to West Haven, CT on Saturday, February 15 as they will take on the New Haven Chargers in an NE-10 clash at 1:30 pm