Written by: John Nee '93
Coach Gary DeCesare’s basketball team was over-looked in the pre-season polls because of their under .500 record last season, but that’s about to change.
The Mustangs, lead by the dynamic backcourt duo of Seton-transfer Rashaad Williams and returning starter Jordan Matthews, overwhelmed a young but highly-touted Providence St. Mel team on Tuesday, Nov. 29, with a final score of 71-46.
The guard combo combined for 25 points, eight rebounds and ten assists, while adding 15 steals as they hounded the St. Mel backcourt all night long.
Sophomore Stedmon Ihejirika, another Seton transfer, had a huge night off the bench contributing 15 points and 12 rebounds as he dominated the paint throughout the game.
Also contributing for the Mustangs were senior sharp-shooter Paul Kingsley (11 points, 3-7 from three-point range) and freshman Joel Watts (8 points).
St. Rita came out flying as they built an 18-2 lead after one quarter of play. They extended that lead to 43-18 by halftime. The Mustangs shot a scorching 53% from the field in the first half while holding St. Mel to a paltry 33%.
The Mustangs (1-0) return to action this Friday night, Dec. 2 as the rival Leo Lions travel west on 79th Street for the Catholic League Opener. St. Rita will be honoring the late Tom Hopkins in a pre-game ceremony for his loyalty to the basketball program. There will also be a post-game gathering in the McCarthy Center for friends and family of “Papa Hops”, as he was so affectionately known around St. Rita. Tip-off on Friday at St. Rita is 7:00 p.m. Sophomores will play at 5:30 p.m.