WINTHROP, Mass. - Freshman Ryan O'Neill (Litchfield, Conn.) of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's basketball team was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Rookie of the Week following the opening week of play, it was announced by the GNAC front office on Monday afternoon. It marks the first-ever GNAC weekly honor in USJ men's basketball program history as they Blue Jays opened their inaugural season with a pair of victories.
O'Neill came off the bench and scored 39 points in two games to power the Blue Jays to a 2-0 start in the inaugural USJ men's basketball season under legendary Hall of Fame head coach Jim Calhoun. Trailing by as many as 14 in the season opener on Friday night against William Paterson at Trinity, O'Neill helped erase the deficit scoring 19 of his game-high 25 points in the second half in an eventual 79-74 comeback victory. With USJ leading by three (77-74) and four seconds remaining, the Litchfield product sealed the program's first-ever win by knocking down a pair of free throws. The 6-5 freshman guard then followed that up with a 14-point, 5-rebound performance on Sunday as USJ cruised to a 95-82 win over Medgar Evers in the Blue Jays' on-campus opener in the O'Connell Athletic Center.
On the week, O'Neill averaged 19.5 ppg on 61.1% (11-18) shooting from the floor, including 66.7% (4-6) from beyond the arc. He hit for 92.9% from the line and added 4.5 rpg in 21.5 mpg off the bench.
The Blue Jays will complete their three-game homestand to start the season this Saturday, November 17th against Green Mountain at 5:30 pm in the O'Connell Athletic Center on the campus of USJ.