NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Led by Tournament Most Valuable Player Michael Taylor’s (Brooklyn, N.Y./Boys and Girls) 31-point effort in the title game, No. 1 seed Berkeley College (25-1) used a strong second half to turn back a challenge from No. 2 New Rochelle (17-9) to win 93-82 to capture the 2018 Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship on Sunday.
The Knights had to overcome a double-digit deficit in their fourth straight finals appearance to win their league-leading 10th title.
Both Berkeley and New Rochelle never trailed in Saturday’s semifinals—Berkeley bypassing Vaughn, 92-28, and New Rochelle defeating Albany Pharmacy, 84-66—to set up a rematch of last year’s title game.
A tightly contested first half of the championship game saw neither team lead by more than six points. After Taylor’s three-pointer gave Berkeley a 26-25 lead, New Rochelle scored 11 unanswered to build their largest lead of the game, 10, 36-26 with 2:31 to play, but the Knights closed the half on a 9-4 run to cut the deficit to 40-35 heading into the lockers.
In the second stanza, Berkeley seized control outscoring the Blue Angels 19-6 over the first 6:30 to balloon their cushion to eight, 54-46, before a 13-4 spurt by the hosts put them on top momentarily, 59-58, nearing the midway point of the half.
But Berkeley would use a methodical 52.6 percent (20-38) shooting effort in the half to pull away for good and New Rochelle couldn’t capitalize on their 22 free throw attempts in the period, connecting on just half of them, as the Knights outscored the Blue Angels, 58-42, over the final 20 minutes.
Taylor had a game-high 31 on 10-of-19 shooting with eight boards and six assists and Johnnie Green (Brooklyn, N.Y./EBC Bushwick) added a 22-point, 11 rebound double-double. Shamoree Strawn (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Loughlin) chipped in 10 points off the bench in 16 minutes of action.
For the Blue Angels, Anthony Sylvester Jr. (Queens, N.Y./Holy Cross) scored 24 points in a reserve role with eight rebounds and four steals. Kobe Telford (Brooklyn, N.Y./Nazareth Regional) had 16 points and Hunter Schenkel (Sayville, N.Y./Sayville) contributed 15 to round out three in double figures for CNR, both grabbing six rebounds.
Ranked No. 1 in the USCAA Coaches’ Poll, the Knights claim the league's automatic bid USCAA National Championships and look to claim their fourth straight national championship in Uniontown, Pennsylvania from February 27 to March 3rd. The tournament field and seeds will be released on Tuesday, February 20 at 5:30 p.m. on www.theuscaa.com
# # #
2018 HVIAC Men's Basketball Championships
Saturday, February 17
at The College of New Rochelle
Sunday, February 18
at The College of New Rochelle
#1 Berkeley def. #2 New Rochelle, 93-82
Tournament & Regular Season Champions
College of New Rochelle
Michael Taylor - Berkeley
- 2017: Berkeley
- 2016: Berkeley
- 2015: Berkeley
- 2014: St. Joseph's
- 2013: Berkeley
- 2012: Berkeley
- 2011: Berkeley
- 2010: St. Joseph's
- 2009: Berkeley
- 2008: St. Joseph's
- 2007: Berkeley
- 2006: Berkeley
- 2005: Bard