The Vaughn College Warriors collided with the Berkeley College (NY) Knights on Wednesday, January 25. This was a heavy anticipated game as both teams entered contest undefeated with a 3-0 record in the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC).
The Warriors and Knights have developed a competitive rilvarly over the past few seasons. However the Knights have bested the Warriors in their last three regular season match-ups. Vaughn College last defeated the Berkeley College Knights in the HVIAC semi-finals in the 2013-14 season.
Spectators traveled to Elmcor Recreation Center to see the two heavy weight teams battle for the top spot in the HVIAC. The Knights got out to an early lead in the first half, but the Warriors quickly responded notching the game up with 13 minutes to go before the break period.
The Warriors struggled offensively in the first half. They shot 41% from the field and 44% from the charity stripe. The Warriors were also plagued by turnovers in the first half, giving the ball away 19 times to the Knights. Heading into the break, the Warriors trailed the Knights 41-38.
The Knights opened up the second half scoring easy points off of transition lay-ups. Berkeley would expand their 17 point advantage and go up by as many as 26 points with just eight minutes left to play.
There was no quit in the Warriors as they mounted a remarkable comeback to climb back into the game. With three minutes left on the clock, the Warriors cut the 26 point deficit to just 11 points. Berkeley was forced to reinsert their starters back into the game.
Both teams went back and forth exchanging baskets. Unfortunately for Vaughn College, the Warriors were unable to come up with key rebounds that would have aided their comeback effort. For the first time this season, the Warriors were out-rebounded by their opposition. The Warriors struggles at the free throw line hurt them down the stretch. They shot 47% from the free throw line for the game only connecting on 19 out of 40 attempts. The Warriors would fall short of completing an extraordinary comeback and would go on to lose to the Knights by a final score of 88-78.
Ian Parker led the way for Vaughn College. Parker finished with a game high 20 points and four blocks. Lamink Barr (Yonkers, NY) recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Michael Pena (Dumont, NJ) chipped in 16 points. Kevin Vanderpool (Yonkers, NY) added 11 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and four thefts.
The loss drops the Warriors' record to 3-1 in the HVIAC and 9-4 overall. The men's basketball team will look to bounce back when they travel to Syracuse, NY on Saturday, January 28. They will face HVIAC opponent SUNY ESF on at 3 p.m.