Rutgers-bound guard Mike Williams and Seton Hall pledge Khadeen Carrington (pictured) combined for 52 points as Bishop Loughlin knocked off St. Mary’s of Long Island, 82-69, setting up Saturday’s 4 p.m. championship game against two-time defending SNY Invitational champion St. Anthony at the Nat Holman Gym at CCNY.
The Friars, who won the tournament in 2011 and ’13, escaped with a narrow 67-61 win over Cardozo after four Friars reached double-figures in a game that probably aged Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley a couple of years.
“It’s a great opportunity because St. Anthony has always been one of the top programs in the nation, but to have a chance to play against them, it’s going to really show us how good we are,” the 6-foot-3 Williams said after going a perfect 6-for-6 from beyond the arc en route to 26 points.
Loughlin will meet St. Anthony in the 4 p.m. championship game on SNY, while Cardozo will face St. Mary’s in the 2 o’clock consolation game.
“We’re going to have a really tough game [Saturday],” Hurley said before Loughlin flexed its offensive firepower.
The finals figures to be a battle of Loughlin’s offense against St. Anthony’s defense. Hurley and his team were fortunate to escape with a win against Ron Naclerio’s Cardozo club, which overcame a 23-7 first-quarter deficit to tie the game at 48 in the final period and kept it close down the stretch.
Cardozo was led by a game-high 20 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds from sophomore guard Rashonde Salnave (at left).
St. Anthony outlasted Cardozo thanks to a balanced effort that featured 16 points from senior guard Tarin Smith (pictured below left), 14 apiece from Boston University-bound guard Cheddi Mosely and uncommitted junior Markis McDuffie and 11 points and 9 rebounds from big man Mohamed Bendary.
Hurley, who in the past has been linked to both the Rutgers and Seton Hall jobs, said he believes Seton Hall, in particular, has done a stellar job with this recruiting class, which also includes the Lincoln duo of Isaiah Whitehead and Desi Rodriguez; Angel Delgado of The Patrick School and Isamel Sanogo of Newark East Side.
“I think the addition on the staff having such a North Jersey/New York City staff has gotten them now where they’re competing with Syracuse who used to own the city and St. John’s,” Hurley said. “They’re getting kids now and they’re going to be very good next year.
“They’re good now. Anybody who watched them play against St. John’s [Thursday], they were a possession away from winning that game.”
Williams, meantime, said he shot perfectly from behind the arc for the first time he can remember.
And his team’s reward is now a matchup with Hurley and St. Anthony.
“I know it’s going to be a real tough game,” said Williams, who will join the Big Ten with Rutgers next season. “St. Anthony’s always has great players go to their program.”
Photos: Marc Levine / SNY