EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - In what was originally supposed to be a holiday-themed visit by Hall Of Fame coach Bobby Hurley, Sr., Monday's matchup between St. Anthony's of Jersey City and East Brunswick instead turned into a possible post-season preview.
In a game that featured a little bit of everything, and some history being made by the Bears' Garry Baumer, the Bears still couldn't find a way to pull the victory out, instead losing their second straight game--this one a bitter overtime loss, 56-55.
In what has been a theme for the Bears this season against the best teams on their schedule, this game once again was a physical, close game throughout. Neither team gaining a large advantage at any point. The Bears led by two at the end of the first quarter and at halftime, and St. Anthony's evened things after three quarters. With three minutes to play, the Bears opened a six-point lead, but could not hold it, and St. Anthony's Markis McDuffie was fouled attempting a three-point shot with 15 seconds remaining. McDuffie calmly sank all three shots to force the overtime, where St. Anthony took the lead, and then held on for the 56-55 victory. McDuffie was their leading scorer with 22 points.
Baumer, one of the Bears' senior leaders, became their career three-point leader while making a school single-game record 10 shots from beyond the arc while tallying a career high 33 points to lead the Bears. Princeton-bound Amir Bell had another stellar game, tallying seven points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.
Coming off of the unexpected 45-40 road loss to Piscataway, the two-game skid is not how the 14-5 Bears expected to enter the post season, but with the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament starting for the second-seeded Bears on Thursday, the time has come for them to turn it around. They will host the winner of Tuesday's game between Piscataway and Perth Amboy at 7 p.m.