Luke Gadson – Sports Editor
The Owls battled with the Golden Knights of Saint Rose up until the final buzzer, but they kept their composure and pulled away at the end as the score showed 83-69 when the clock hit zero.
The Owls had a slow first half of the game, shooting 38% from the field and 21 percent from the three-point line. They quickly turned this around in the second half as they made nine three-pointers in the second half and shot for an impressive 53% from the field.
Forward Josh McGettigan, a graduate student, and guard Christian Joe, a freshman, combined for 40 points in the victory. Joe, coming off the bench, played a huge role putting up 20 points, seven assists and two steals. McGettigan had seven rebounds to go along with his 20 points.
“Christian came in and changed the tempo. We were struggling and down eight late in the second half. Christian’s energy, ball movement, quickness and shot ability definitely changed the game for us,” said Head Coach Scott Burrell.
McGettigan’s shooting ability was on full display late in the second half, and his consistency kept the Owls in this game. His teammates worked to get him open looks and he cashed in on those opportunities.
“The first have was kind of a struggle for all of us, including me. But we came out in the second half with our heads up. It’s definitely important for me to knock those shots down when I’m needed to; I know my teammates and my coaches trust me, so I just have to knock them down,” said McGettigan.
Forward Kazell Stewart, a sophomore, had a big game offensively and defensively, tallying 17 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four blocks. Forward Cherif Diarra, a sophomore, was a force in the paint; he leads the NE10 in rebounds per game with 9.1 and he grabbed nine rebounds and scored eight points Saturday afternoon. Diarra’s defensive effort was a factor in this win as he also had three blocks and three steals.
“We’re a team that’s based on defense. We kept our heads up after a tough first half; they battled, and we battled back. We did a good job staying poise,” said Joe.
The Owls made sure to point out how important a role their defense played in winning this game.
“We came out and we stuck together. We played solid defense and got the stops we needed, and we scored when we needed to as well,” said McGettigan.
With this win, the Owls improved to an overall record of 5-2 on the year and a conference record of 2-2. The next game for the Owls is another in-conference matchup, where they will travel to Pace University to take on the Setters on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
The Owls have some tough NE10 opponents coming up, but they have no doubt they can win these games if they are consistent with their style of play.
“We just have to play with confidence and play together. It’s going to be a tough atmosphere on the road, but if we do our job and compete like we usually do, we’ll be okay,” said Burrell.