CALDWELL, N.J. (March 10, 2019) -- The Dominican College men's basketball team won the 2018-2019 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Championship Sunday afternoon after downing the North's top seed, Bloomfield College, 70-55, at the George R. Newman Center in Caldwell, N.J. The victory came in Dominican's third-consecutive trip to the CACC Championship Final, as it came up agonizingly short the previous two years, but kicked in the door on Sunday with yet another strong defensive effort and terrific ball movement that led to several good looks that went in for the Chargers.
With the win, Dominican (23-7) earns the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA East Regional Tournament which will be held next weekend (March 16-19) at a site to be determined. The Chargers also locked up the program's first CACC Championship since the school elevated to NCAA Division II status back in 2000.
Junior guard Daraja Rodwell was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player (MVP) and to the All-Tournament Team. Teammates Jonathan Garcia and Ian Gardener also joined Rodwell on the All-Tournament Team.
Rodwell delivered a stellar peformance in leading Dominican with 18 points (7-10 from the floor and 4-6 from the three-point arc) and 10 rebounds. Gardener recorded 16 points, a team best 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks.
Tavon Ginyard came off the bench to net 13 points (5-10, 3-6 from the three-point arc), four rebounds, three steals and two assists. Garcia grabbed seven boards, all on the defensive end, two assists, two blocks, one steal and four points.
The Chargers opened the game with the first five points, but the Bears rallied to take an 11-9 edge with just under 11 minutes left in the first half. Gardener tied the game with two free throws and began a 17-1 tear that saw DC jump in front 26-12. BC would cut the lead to 26-21 in the final two and half minutes, but Rodwell recorded back-to-back trey's and Ginyard closed out the half with a layup to give the Chargers the 34-21 lead at the intermission.
Dominican would lead by as many as 20 points in the second half as Ginyard connected on a three-point bucket (68-48) with 3:31 left in regulation en route to the 15-point victory. The Chargers limited Bloomfield to just 27 percent shooting in the game (19-of-70), including a 21-percent clip from the arc. The shutdown defensive performance came a day after Dominican limited Jefferson to a 14-for-50 shooting mark in a semifinal victory.
Dominican's victory came against a Bloomfield squad that had been nothing short of spectacular in the CACC Championship Final under head coach Gerald Holmes, as the Bears had won seven of eight CACC finals that he had coached in prior to Sunday. Bloomfield was looking to lock up the conference crown for the second time in three years, as the Bears also turned the trick at Caldwell University back in 2017.
Keith Washington popped in a game-high 23 points, while Rich Chapman added 11 points.
2018-19 CACC MEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Jermaine Head (Wilmington)
Corey Taite (Goldey-Beacom)
Josh Bradanese (Jefferson)
Kavione Green (Bloomfield)
Dontay Julius (Bloomfield)
Jonathan Garcia (Dominican)
Daraja Rodwell (Dominican)
Ian Gardener (Dominican)
MVP: Daraja Rodwell (Dominican)
ABOUT THE CACC
The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference is an NCAA Division II Conference composed of 14 institutions in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The member institutions are Bloomfield College, Caldwell University, Chestnut Hill College, Concordia (N.Y.) College, Dominican (N.Y.) College, Felician University, Georgian Court University, Goldey-Beacom College, Holy Family University, Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), Nyack College, Post University of Waterbury, University of the Sciences, and Wilmington University.