WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — The No. 9 University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's basketball team took home the championship trophy Sunday, taking down the Golden Wolves of Alvernia University (ALV), 76-55, inside the newly completed O'Connell Athletic Center, in the USJ Tip-Off Tournament, presented by Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast. With the win, the Blue Jays improve to 2-0 to start the season, winning their tournament games by an average of 37.5 points per game.
USJ was led by the double-double duo of senior guard Tyree Mitchell (East Hartford, Conn.), who poured in a game-high 20 points (7-14 FG) and grabbed 11 rebounds, as well as senior forward Jordan Powell (Middletown, Conn.), who was efficient as ever (16 Pts, 12 Reb, 4 Blk). He also shot 7-for-11 from the field. Senior guard Jaecee Martin (Hartford, Conn.) added 15 points, four assists and three rebounds in 32 minutes of floor time. Sophomore forward Jakob Kelly (Harrisburg, Pa.) was the high-man for the Golden Wolves with 19 points and seven boards. Mitchell and Martin were both named to the All-Tournament team, while Mitchell captured tournament MVP honors:
USJ Tip-Off Tournament All-Tournament Team
UMA - #0 Keegan Scanlan
NJCU - #23 Kayton Darley
Alvernia - #4 Keon Taylor
USJ - #14 Jaecee Martin
USJ - #25 Tyree Mitchell (MVP)
Score: Alvernia 55, #9 Saint Joseph 76
Records: ALV (1-1), USJ (2-0)
Location: O'Connell Athletic Center | West Hartford, Conn.
Notes: USJ Tip-Off Tournament Championship Game
PLAYER QUOTE [Tyree Mitchell] "We all came together when it mattered most today, and that is what got us over the hump. Alvernia came back, and they made a little run, but we were able to counter all the runs by staying together as a team, and it helped us get the win. I have just been staying ready, knowing my number was going to be called. I have been working really hard in practice on those 'game-time shots' as Coach Glen Miller would say."
PLAYER QUOTE [Jaecee Martin] "We played really great defense today. We also had good spacing on offense. We trust each other, and it really showed. We are just trying to get back to the way our offense was two years ago [the GNAC Championship season]. Trusting each other, moving the ball, and trying to find the open shot, it has been more about trying to find the better play or the better shot for the next person."
COACH QUOTE [Glen Miller] "Today was a quality early-season win over a good Alvernia team. Alvernia showed they were a talented offensive team with their win Saturday over nationally-ranked NJCU. We prioritized defense for 40 minutes, and our performance at that end of the floor was the main reason we came away with the trophy. Our team's depth was also a significant factor in our success this weekend."
The Blue Jays have 10 days of preparation before the highly anticipated rematch with Babson College on Wednesday, November 17, this time away from home. The opening tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. USJ claimed two victories over the Beavers in the abbreviated 2020-21 season, including a triple-OT thriller, the longest game in program history last year on March 7.
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