Bloomfield falls in CACC Men's Basketball Championship
The Bloomfield men's basketball team sits dejected after falling to Jefferson in the CACC Championship. (Photo by Christopher Shannon -JSN)

Jefferson's 3-point shooting dooms Bloomfield in CACC men's basketball title game

CALDWELL - The weather outside Caldwell University's George R. Newman Center may have been brisk, but the Jefferson men's basketball team was on fire inside. Behind a nearly 60 percent effort from behind the 3-point arc, Jefferson claimed an 89-69 win over Bloomfield in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Men's Basketball Championship.

Things started well for the Bears, as Bloomfield took an early 5-0 lead. Deavion Ellis opened the scoring with a three-point basket and a fastbreak layup to stake the Bears to the early lead. However, Jefferson soon found their footing, and eventually tied the game up at seven after Ahmed Barba-Bey knocked down a fastbreak jump shot.

From there, the Rams began to assert themselves. A Hakim Byrd two-point bucket and Barba-Bey trey, sandwiched around Kareeme Davis' two, gave Jefferson a lead they would not relinquish.   

While Bloomfield kept their deficit to single digits throughout most of the first half, around the three-minute mark in the first period, things started to go sideways for the Bears. A few seconds earlier, Bloomfield had cut a 10-point deficit down to four; however, a three by Ashton Miller would put Jefferson up by seven, and another three by Byrd, 30 seconds later, extended the Ram lead back to 10.

From there, Bloomfield would get no closer than eight points and would head into the locker room down by 12.

The second half was all Jefferson as Bloomfield could not get any closer than 10 points for the remainder of the contest after an Al Fatir Conner fastbreak basket made it 55-45 in favor of the Rams with 16:10 to play. From that point, Jefferson would build their lead to as many as 22 points after Jack Moynihan hit a three to make the score 89-67 with 50 seconds left in the game. Fourteen seconds later, Zamorian Singleton knocked down both his free throws after being fouled by Troy McGregor to set the final score.

Izaiah Poole and Ellis were the only two Bears to reach double figures in scoring, with Poole netting a team-high 21 points and Ellis netting 10. Bloomfield was outrebounded by Jefferson 39-20, with Abdallah Elsaleh leading the way for the Bears with four. One bright spot for Bloomfield against Jefferson was the turnover battle, where the Bears only turned the ball over six times compared to the Rams' 16. Additionally, Bloomfield had eight steals compared to Jefferson's five.

Despite the loss, Bloomfield will continue their season as the sixth seed in the East Region of the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Tournament. The Bears will open up tournament play against Southern New Hampshire, the 3-seed, in the first round at St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vt. on March 16.

Christopher Shannon

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