It was just about a month ago at the Barclays Center when St. Joseph’s coach Joseph Cocozello turned to his assistant coaches and remarked on how well David Louison and Michael Megafu were playing with each other. It wasn’t two stars simply coexisting, they were playing off each other and making each other better.
“Since then it has been consistent, they play so well together, they find one another, make great passes,” Cocozello explained. “They’re clicking very well.”
Monday night was a great example of how well the two can play together as they both scored 30 points in a big 88-75 victory over Brooklyn College at Brooklyn Tech High School.
“We developed that chemistry last year and it has really gotten better this season,” Megafu said. “He’s been mentoring me, telling me what to do, we’ve improved our chemistry and you saw it here tonight.”
Brooklyn College and St. Joseph’s are both Division III team, but they play in separate conferences. They are still big rivals though and play each other every year. Monday night was the first time that either Louison or Megafu had beaten them with the Bulldogs taking the previous two matchups as the Bulldogs had won the previous seven matchups and are 10-4 against the Bears since 2002.
“They’re a tough Brooklyn School,” Louison said. “They won their championship and were in the NCAA tournament a few years ago so it was definitely a big win. I know a lot of the guys on that team so it’s fun to be in this game and come out on top.”
The game was significant for Louison has he picked up his 1,000th career point at St. Joseph’s. He just barely got it too as his 30th point of the night, an and-one free throw, was also his 1,000th point in his career.
After the game Cocozello admitted that he wanted to remove Louison since the Bears had a nice 13-15 point lead throughout the second half of the game. However, the recent history between the two teams and Brooklyn’s ability to score in bunches forced him to keep Louison in the game and allowed him to pick up the milestone in the final minute of the game.
“We were never comfortable because they can score in bunches,” Cocozello said. “To make it on a free throw is great. I’m happy for him. He’s a great player and I’m not even talking about talent-wise, he’s a great person off the court too.”
Both Louison and Megafu had double-doubles as well with Louison grabbing 10 boards and Megafu grabbing 15. Megafu now has 10 double-doubles this season which is second in the conference.
“He’s a beast, he’s been a great player ever since high school,” Louison said. “I played against him then and he was a monster then too. He just did his thing tonight.”
Another Bear to pick up a nice milestone was Matt O’Neill, a sophomore who finsihed with seven points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. He now has 100 steals in his career.
Brooklyn College’s Jamel Gist, whose brother Justin Gist was coincidentally the last Bear to score his 1,000 point in 2012, led the game with 36 points and he also had five rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block. Egzon Gjonbalaj came off the bench to contribute 13 poitns, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks for the Bulldogs.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Bears and improves their record to 8-7 overall on the season. They remain 2-0 in the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. They have 10 more games left to play with their next game at Valley Forge Christian.
The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 4-10 overall. They beat Hunter College 79-65 at home on Wednesday night and will head to City College on Friday to try for their first road win of the season.