Roseville stormed the New Haven court after beating the Rockets in a MAC crossover basketball game in December.
“I felt disrespected,” New Haven senior Romeo Weems said.
The Rockets got some of their dignity back Saturday.
Weems and Ronald Jeffery III had a double-double apiece to lead New Haven to a 64-55 victory over the Panthers in the MAC Red/White tournament championship game before a near-capacity crowd at Stevenson.
Weems had 19 points and 17 rebounds to go with five assists and three blocked shots.
Jeffery scored 26 points and had 10 rebounds plus six steals as the White Division-champion Rockets improved to 18-1 with their 17th consecutive victory since the Roseville loss.
It was New Haven’s third MAC tournament championship in the three-year history of the event. The Rockets won Blue/Gold titles in 2017 and 2018 before moving to the White.
“We didn’t play around,” DePaul recruit Weems said. “This game was personal.
“I love it when the gym is packed. I love it when the crowd is saying ‘Overrated,’ and booing and all that stuff.”
Darien Banks led Roseville with 22 points. Martell Turner and Lazell Judge scored nine apiece.
“They amped up the pressure a little bit more today than the first time,” Roseville coach Hassan Nizam said. “But we expected it with what they’ve been doing.
“We did not do a good job against their pressure. It took us out of our flow. But our kids fought to the buzzer. They kept playing, kept playing. We’ll sit on this and learn from it.”
Roseville, the 2018 Red/White champion, benefited from the tournament experience, Nizam said.
“As bad as we wanted to win, getting here was huge,” Nizam said, “because we had to learn how to prepare for an opponent in a playoff scenario. We had to come here on a Saturday. It felt like there wasn’t a place to sit in the whole gym.
“You can’t beat this as far as getting ready for the playoffs.”
Roseville, the MAC Red co-champion with Stevenson, is 15-3.