VIDEO: Sallies' pressure bursts Newark
Salesianum's 1-3-1 pressure erased an 11-point Newark second half lead, as the No. 4 seeded Sals advanced to the semifinals with a 51-43 victory over Newark Tuesday.
Salesianum took a quick 6-2 lead early in the contest on three-pointers by Nick Perugino and Donte DiVincenzo, but would not lead again until 37-35 with about three minutes left to go..
In the middle, Newark methodically worked the ball inside around the Sallies' defense, and took advantage of a tough shooting night from 3-point range by the Sals.
After a Xavier Purnell basket, Newark led 26-15 midway through the third quarter and seemed destined to advance with their second straight upset.
Salesianum then decided to try out the 1-3-1 press, the same defense St. Andrew's used to nearly erase an 11-point lead by Newark in the 2nd round on Saturday, and once again the Yellowjackets cracked. After the game O'Neill and coach Brendan Haley both said the team didn't really use that defense during the season, and had only briefly gone over it in a walk-through practice earlier in the day.
Chris Pepe hit a pair of free throws with 3:27 remaining to cap off a 20-9 rally to knot the contest.
In the end, it was forward Brian O'Neill's 16 points which proved vital on a night when Salesianum only hit one three-pointer after the two early ones. Salesianum also went 18-24 from the free throw line, including several trips after taking the lead as they drove into the heart of the Newark's defense.
DiVincenzo scored 16 points, with Perugino hitting 9 for the Sals (19-3) who advance to face No. 1 Sanford Thursday night at about 8pm at the Bob Carpenter Center.
Jaysun Greer scored 14 points for Newark, who saw their season come to an end at 17-6.
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