The Berkeley College men's basketball team continued to power its way through its 2017-2018 schedule, as the Knights won their 17th straight game with a convincing 108-65 drubbing of the Mechanics of Williamson College of the Trades on Monday evening. The game took place at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in Lower Manhattan. With the victory, Berkeley is now 20-1 on the year, while the Mechanics dipped to 10-14. Following the game, Head Coach Jonathan Pena gave his thoughts.
"Tonight's game was business as usual for our guys," Pena said. "Our student-athletes came to play. They were excited, they were pumped up, and they were having fun. It's great to see that these guys have developed such an impressive chemistry as the season as progressed. Wednesday night will serve as a big test for our group, as we'll put our winning streak on the line against a very hungry College of New Rochelle team on its home floor. It should be another quality litmus test for us. We'll be ready."
Michael Taylor was hitting on all cylinders in Berkeley's latest win, as he drilled eight of his 10 attempts from the floor – including five of six from long range – to finish with a team-high 21 points. He also added four assists and a pair of rebounds, as well. Demetri Stewart hit five of his seven attempts to finish with 15 points, six rebounds, a pair of steals and a pair of assists, and it was Ricardo Ayuso adding 11 points and five assists. Shamoree Strawn put together a very versatile performance in the Knights' triumph, as he scored nine points while posting game-highs of eight rebounds and seven assists.
Despite the loss for Williamson College of the Trades, the Mechanics were led by Da'Shawn Chambliss, as he converted on 11 of his 17 attempts from the floor to finish with a game-high 25 points. He also added seven rebounds, two steals, and two swatted shots. Darnill Brown contributed 10 points, two rebounds, a pair of steals, and two assists, and it was Agustin Pagan netting nine points, snatching four rebounds, and contributing three assists.
The Knights raced out to a commanding 17-0 lead just 3:10 into this game, and would never look back. Berkeley's first four shot attempts were all three-point tries – and all of them hit nothing but the bottom of the net, with Ayuso accounting for two, and Taylor accounting for two. After an Ayuso dunk and free throw, Taylor would make a layup to cap the run. Berkeley later led 21-2, but a modest 6-0 run by Williamson College of the Trades made it a 13-point game – 21-8 – with 14:26 remaining in the opening half. The Knights would continue to gradually build their lead, eventually capping off the first half with a 45-foot successful three-point heave by Mustafaa Muhammad. At the half, Berkeley held a 61-29 advantage.
Despite holding a 32-point edge after 20 minutes, Berkeley struggled to defend the three-point basket in that opening stanza, allowing the Mechanics to connect on seven shots from long range. The Knights would perform much more efficiently defending the three-pointer in the second half, only allowing Williamson College of the Trades to connect on one triple in the game's final 20 minutes. Berkeley would outscore the opposition 47-36 to run away with the game, eventually winning by 43.
Remarkably, the Knights only missed 21 shots all evening long, hitting on 39 of their 60 attempts (67.6 percent) compared to just 39.3 percent shooting for the Mechanics (25-61). Berkeley out-rebounded Williamson College of the Trades by a count of 38-25, while also tallying 23 assists compared to 11 for the opposition. The Mechanics turned the ball over 26 times, with the Knights only committing 20 miscues.
Berkeley College will return to action on Wednesday evening, as the Knights will face the Blue Angels of the College of New Rochelle in a crucial Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest. The game will take place at the Wellness Center on the campus of the College of New Rochelle. Start-time is scheduled for 8:00pm.