Men's Basketball Crowned SCAC Champions: Makes Team History
University of St. Thomas-Houston Men's Basketball claimed their second consecutive SCAC Tournament title after powering past the second-seeded Trinity Tigers, 77-58. The Celts become the first team in school history to win both the regular season championship and the conference tournament in the same season.
St. Thomas would start the contest on fire from deep, opening the frame with eight consecutive three-pointers. Junior Andrew Nguyen would spark the hot shooting, drilling five triples within the first five minutes of action. The Celts would hold a comfortable lead for the entire first half, shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor while totaling for 11 three-pointers. On the defensive end, they would stump the Tigers, limiting them to under 30 percent shooting, while only surrendering 26 points.
Heading into the break, three Celts would already sit at the double-digit scoring mark, led by Andrew Nguyen's 15 points.
Trinity would claw their way back into the game after kicking off the second half with a 10-0 run. They continued to threaten the Celts lead, but St. Thomas would respond with timely scores to fend off the Tigers. With just a six-point advantage, Cameron Gims and Christian Alaekwe would combine for three-straight mid-range buckets to shift momentum back towards the Celts.
St. Thomas would close the door on Trinity by scoring 13 unanswered points in the final three minutes of the game.
Christian Alaekwe, the SCAC Player of the Year, would pace the Celts in scoring with 21 points. Alaekwe would also record his first double-double of the season with 11 rebounds. Also logging a double-double would be Cameron Gims who added 11 points, nine of which would come in the second half, and 13 boards. Andrew Nguyen would finish with 15 points, all of which came in the first frame. Chipping in 10 points on four-for-eight shooting from the floor would be senior Juan Hood in his final game as a Celt.
Alaekwe would be named SCAC Tournament's Most Valuable Player. He would be joined on the All-Tournament team by senior Cameron Gims and junior Freddie Ricks III.
This marks the end of the 2021-22 season for St. Thomas. They finish with a 22-5 record, closing out the year on an eleven-game win streak.