Berkeley College Men's Basketball Honors Seven Seniors and Rallies from Seven-Point Deficit



Contact:  Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
201-291-1111, ext. 1-5122



The Berkeley College Men’s Basketball team, New York, put forth a spirited comeback Tuesday evening, rallying from a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat the Bengals of the University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK) on Senior Day by a score of 60-53 at the Wellness Center at the College of New Rochelle. The victory was the third straight for the Knights, who improved their record to 13-8 on the year, while the Bengals dipped to a mark of 7-18.

Prior to the contest, the Berkeley College Athletics Department took a few moments to honor seven seniors – including Elijah Craig, Yang Zhang, Mario Guzman, Richard Rampersad, Danzel Whyte, Jovan Bovell and Alex Loniakan – in a special pre-game ceremony. Head Coach Chris Christiansen took the microphone and said a few heartfelt words about each of his seniors, and Andy DeStephano, Director of Athletics, presented all of the aforementioned student-athletes with a commemorative plaque to thank them for their years of dedication to the Berkeley College Men’s Basketball program.

When the game began, a pumped-up Knights team converted on six of its first seven attempts from the floor in the process of building an early 14-6 advantage. Mr. Bovell scored eight of those first 14 points for his squad. A pair of made free throws by Mr. Rampersad and a converted layup by Mr. Craig increased the Berkeley College lead to 12 at 18-6 with 13:38 remaining in the opening session.

From there, the first half belonged to the Bengals. UMFK put together a 13-0 run over the ensuing 5:12 (the Knights were 0-for-9 from the floor during this stretch) to take a 19-18 lead. Later on in the stanza, the game was tied at 24 apiece with 2:37 left in opening session, and the Bengals closed out the period on a 7-0 run to take a 31-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Knights came out a completely different team to start the second half, as Berkeley College opened up the session with a spark, outscoring the Bengals 15-3 in the opening 5:14 of the frame to take a 39-34 lead. The Knights continued to press the Bengals, and were exemplifying good shot selection by moving the ball and getting good looks.

With 7:49 remaining in the game, Berkeley College built its biggest lead of the game – a 54-43 advantage. The Bengals refused to quit though, going on a 17-11 run from there to pull to within five points (65-60) with 2:18 remaining in the game. The Knights would buckle down though, connecting on five free throw attempts and not allowing another UMFK field goal the rest of the way in holding on for a seven-point victory.

In the win for the Knights, the seniors truly put on a show, with Mr. Bovell leading the way as he scored a game-high 18 points to go along with eight rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Mr. Craig chipped in with 12 points, nine rebounds, seven blocks, and two steals. Mr. Guzman finalized his evening with 12 points and four rebounds, and freshman Ahmed Dickerson added 10 points and four caroms off the bench.

Despite the loss for UMFK, the Bengals were led by sophomore guard Fred Sanchez, who knocked down all seven of his free throw attempts and drained three of his four shots from downtown while finishing with 18 points and three assists. Junior guard Jorge Matesanz added 17 points and five rebounds and junior forward Jeremy Bishop contributed with 14 points, five rebounds, and two blocked shots.

The Knights held an edge in shooting percentage, connecting on 41.2 percent of their attempts from the floor (28-68) compared to 36.5 percent for the Bengals (19-52). Berkeley College out-rebounded UMFK 41-32, while also swatting seven shots (all by Mr. Craig) compared to four for the visitors. The Knights also held an 11-5 edge in the steals department.

Berkeley College completes its regular season portion of the schedule tomorrow evening when the Knights host Pratt Institute in a Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game in Brooklyn, NY. Start-time for the game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

A leader in providing career-focused education for more than 80 years, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls approximately 8,000 students — including more than 900 international students — in its Baccalaureate and Associate degree and Certificate programs. The College has three New York locations — Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. In New Jersey there are six locations — Woodland Park, Paramus, Woodbridge, Newark, Clifton and Dover. Berkeley College Online® also offers full degree programs. Programs are offered in more than 20 career fields. The website address is

Photo Caption: Senior Elijah Craig receives a commemorative plaque during Senior Day from Chris Christiansen, Head Coach, Men’s Basketball, New York. Mr. Craig contributed to the Knights’ win over the University of Maine at Fort Kent with 12 points, nine rebounds, seven blocks, and two steals.

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