Riverdale, N.Y. – Senior co-captain George Papadeas (Athens, Greece) and sophomore Shay Ajayi (Brooklyn, N.Y.) combined for eight key points in the final stages of the game to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a thrilling 63-62 win over St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn, N.Y.) in the College of Mount St. Vincent Tip-Off Tournament at the Peter Jay Sharp Center. Trinity starts their year with a 1-0 record.
Trinity trailed by just one point at halftime, 33-32, but with 10:16 to play in the game, the Bantams had buried themselves into a nine-point hole, trailing 49-40. Sophomore Jaquann Starks (Hartford, Conn.) gave Trinity a lift with a clutch three-pointer, one of his three from long distance on the night, before rookie Ed Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y.) followed with a another bucket to cut the lead to 49-45.
St. Joseph's created some separation with 6:03 remaining in the game, when sophomore Matt O'Neill (Brooklyn, N.Y.) hit a three-pointer to give the Bears a 57-53 lead. A Papadeas dunk would kick start a 7-2 run for the Bantams, capped by a three-pointer by Ajayi with 2:35 to play, giving Trinity a 60-59 lead.
O'Neill answered with another big three, to put the Bears back on top, 62-60, with just 2:19 to play. A Papadeas free throw brought the Bantams within one point, 62-61, before Papadeas came up with a big defensive block with 47 seconds showing on the clock. Papadeas came up with yet another clutch play, hitting a layup with eight seconds to play giving the Bantams their third lead of the half. A last-second three-point attempt by the Bears went for naught, as Trinity escaped with their first win of the season.
Papadeas filled out the stat sheet with nine points, ten rebounds, two assists, four blocks, and a steal. Starks finished with a team-high 15 points and six rebounds, while sophomore Rick Naylor (Sudbury, Vt.) chipped in with eight points and three assists in 23 minutes off the bench for Trinity. Ajayi finished with 12 points. Junior David Louison (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored a game-high 17 points and collected five rebounds along the way for St. Joseph's. Sophomore teammate Michael Megafu (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored 12 points, and added seven rebounds, two steals, two blocks, and an assist in the game.
Trinity advances to the tournament final, against Mount St. Vincent, Sat., Nov. 16 at 4 p.m.