BLOOMFIELD MEN'S BASKETBALL ADVANCES TO FIRST-EVER NCAA SWEET 16
WALTHAM, Mass. (March 13, 2011) - For the
first time in program history, the Bloomfield College men's
basketball team advanced to the NCAA Division II Sweet 16 Sunday
evening, surging in the second half to top third-seeded Stonehill
College 79-66 in the East Region semifinals. The No. 7 seeded
Deacons will face top seed and host Bentley University Tuesday
night at 8:30 pm.
Senior guard Gage Daye, the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) and East Region Player of the Year, continued to stake his claim as one of the nation's elite players, pouring in a game-high 31 points in a 10-for-18 shooting performance to go with four assists. Freshman forward Kevin Udo continued to blossom, posting 14 points, nine rebounds and a trio of blocks in 31 minutes off the bench. Udo shot 7-for-9 from the field and is now 13-for-15 in BC’s two tournament victories. He hit all six of his attempts in the opening round against American International. Senior guard Ryan Rodrigues aided Daye in the backcourt scoring effort, finishing with 15 points and three assists.
Bloomfield shot just under 47-percent from the floor in Sunday's victory, converting 85-pecent of their free-throw attempts while committing just 10 turnovers. Seven players registered at least two points, with each player seeing at least 17 minutes of action.
"Tonight was a great all-around game for us on both sides of the ball," Bloomfield head coach Gerald Holmes said. "Offensively we shot the ball well, and were able to limit our turnovers. Against these quality opponents, that's the type of basketball you have to play."
The defense came to play as well, limiting Stonehill to just 37-percent shooting and a 21-percent clip from beyond the arc. Despite the outstanding work on the defensive end, the Deacons trailed the Skyhawks 33-30 heading into the intermission.
But Bloomfield would rally to tie the tilt at 39 with 14:42 remaining on a Rodrigues three, and after Stonehill retook a one-point advantage, the Deacons rallied with an emphatic run to punch their ticket to the round of 16. The underdogs out-scored Stonehill 35-23 over the final 12:54, including a 13-4 spurt over the final two minutes to put the game away.
"We were able to get some good looks offensively in those last two minutes, and were able to close the game out," Holmes said. "That's what good teams do. Obviously the stakes get bigger with each game, but if we continue to play our best basketball, we can play with anybody."