Final Second Free Throw Wins St. Joe's their First Championship
St. Joseph's - 69, Farmingdale State - 68
Farmingdale, N.Y. - A final second free throw made by Golden Eagles' senior forward Stu Coleman (Woodbury, N.Y./Syosset) with 0.2 seconds remaining secured a 69-68 upset over Farmingdale State (24-3) in the Skyline Finals, and St. Joe's won their first-ever Conference Championship.
The Rams led 33-28 at halftime and pushed the lead up to 10 points early in the second, before a 13-3 run by St. Joe's tied the score at 43-43 with 14:55 showing on the game clock. St. Joe's went up by five points on two occasions over the next five minutes of play, before a 6-0 Farmingdale run sparked by junior guard Mike Campbell (Bronx, N.Y./Samuel Gompers) gave the Rams a two point lead, 55-53.
Freshman guard Chris Jimenez (Huntington Station, N.Y./St. Anthony's) hit two free throws to tie the game at 55-55 with 7:40 left to play and Farmingdale again took a four point lead, 59-55, with a jumper by senior forward Davon Jackson (New York, N.Y./Rice) and two free throws by senior guard Damien Santana (Brooklyn, N.Y./Grady).
Two St. Joe's jumpers by senior guard David Acree (Brentwood, N.Y./Brentwood) and a three-pointer by sophomore guard Matt Weeks (Hampton Bays, N.Y./Hampton Bays) put the Golden Eagles back in the lead, 62-59. But Farmingdale senior guard Joe Cammarata (Levittown, N.Y./MacArthur) tied it 62-62 with a three and 2:40 remaining in the game.
Weeks hit two free throws for St. Joe's, followed by two Rams free throws by Erastus Shannon (Amityville, N.Y./Copiague) to even the score at 64-64.
Acree hit a fade-away jumper with 58 seconds left and Shannon hit two more free throws, scored tied again, 66-66. On the next possession, Acree hit another layup, 68-66 St. Joe's lead, and Shannon tied it up again, 68-68, with 2.3 seconds to play.
A foul call with 0.2 seconds on the clock gave Coleman two shots, and one-of-two in the net gave St. Joe's their first-ever Skyline Championship.
Santana led for Farmingdale State with a game-high 22 points, while Campbell posted 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Jackson had nine points, eight rebounds and four assists.
St. Joe's had four players in double figures, led by senior center Chris Niblock (Bayport, N.Y./Bayport-Blue Point), the 2009 Tournament MVP, with 20 points and 11 boards. Jimenez finished with 15 points, Acree with 14 points and senior forward J.J. Walsh (Brentwood, N.Y./Brentwoo) with 11 points.
St. Joe's will receive the automatic bid to the Division III NCAA Tournament, while the Rams will await word of an at-large bid, which is announced Monday, March 2nd at 11:00 a.m.