GORHAM — It’s lead down to four, the St. Joseph College men’s basketball worked the ball around. Senior guard Ian Mileikis drove in and found freshman David Keohan for a layup.

The Monks got contributions from veterans and young guys to beat Southern Maine 83-79 in their annual Costello Cup game Sunday night at Hill Gymnasium.

The Monks led by as many as 16 points in the second half but could not shake the pesky Huskies. St. Joseph’s improved to 3-2, while USM dropped to 2-2.

Jack Casale, a sophomore from Portland, was a contributor off the bench last year for a St. Joseph’s team that went 13-13. This season, he’s starting and leading the team in scoring at 23.8 points per game, and he recorded a double-double Sunday with 22 points and 12 rebounds.

Mileikis and another senior guard, Darian Berry, each scored 17 points. Keohan, who played at Thornton Academy last season, recorded nine points and six rebounds. Both he and freshman guard Nick Curtis of Windham (nine points) were on the floor at key moments.

“We have a really good mix,” Monks Coach Rob Sanicola said. “It started with the seniors being so welcoming to the younger guys.”

Casale agrees.

“The seniors have confidence in us and that helps a lot for the freshmen and sophomores,” Casale said. “We share the ball.”

St. Joseph’s had 16 assists on 28 field goals.

USM was led by senior guard Christian McCue of Hampden and junior guard Jayvon Pitts-Young of Portland, each with 20 points. Senior forward Sean Jany of Westbrook added 17.

With 2:45 left, Evan Christensen’s layup pulled USM within 74-67. Keohan answered with his layup. USM missed its next shot, Casale rebounded, and the Monks began to pull away. They led 79-71 with 23 seconds left before McCue hit two 3-pointers.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

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