Dexter Strickland (St. Patrick, NJ)

Dexter Strickland (St. Patrick, NJ)

In one of the most highly anticipated games of the season two national powers met last night at the “RAC” on Rutgers campus.

This game was between # 3 St. Benedict’s (NJ) and # 5 St. Patrick (NJ) each team boost numerous division one players across their rosters. Some of these talented players include Dexter Strickland (2009/UNC/St. Patrick), Michael Gilchrist (2011/St. Patrick), Kyle Irving (2010/St. Patrick) and Paris Bennet (2009/GM/St. Patrick) from St. Patrick, NJ. The standout players from St. Benedict’s, NJ are Tristan Thompson (2010/Texas/St. Benedict’s), Myck Kabongo (2011/Texas/St. Benedict’s), Tamir Jackson (2009/Rice/St. Benedict’s) and Lamar Patterson (2009/Pitt/St. Benedict’s).

The game ended up drawing in some of the area’s top college coaches and staff, coaches in attendance included Rutgers head coach Fred Hill, Seton Hall head coach Bobby Gonzalez and staff, UConn assistant Andre LaFleur, St. John’s assistant Fred Quartlebaum and Penn assistant Mike Martin.

At the beginning of the game it looked like this one would live up to the hype with each team going back and forth at each other in the first quarter with St. Patrick holding a slim 21-17 lead over St. Benedict’s. Kyle Irving had 10 points in the opening period for St. Patrick and Tristan Thompson led St. Benedict’s with 9 points.

St. Patrick blew a close game wide open in the second quarter outscoring St. Benedict’s 24-8 in the period. They went into the half with a 45-25 lead and never looked back from then on cruising to a blowout victory 88-62.

It seemed like after the first quarter when St. Benedict’s was getting the ball inside to Thompson and scoring buckets they went away from that. It also seemed like they just didn’t come to play last night and were disinterested in the game.

This was a big-time statement game for St. Patrick, NJ who is predicted to win the Tournament of Champions of New Jersey. They showed everyone in the state that when there at full strength they are a team to be wrecking with when it comes playoff time.

The leading scorers for St. Patrick, NJ were senior Dexter Strickland 21 points and junior Kyle Irving 21 points. Super sophomore Michael Gilchrist chipped in 8 points.

The leading scorers for St. Benedict’s, NJ were junior Tristan Thompson 13, sophomore Myck Kabongo 13 points and senior Tamir Jackson added 10 points.

Each of these teams has big-time match-ups coming up in the next week. St. Benedict’s takes on undefeated and #1 team in the country Mater Dei (CA) at the Nike Extravaganza this Saturday February 7th at 12:00 a.m. eastern time on ESPNU. St. Patrick faces NYC powerhouse Lincoln on Friday February 13th at 7:00 p.m. eastern time on ESPN 2.