The Vaughn College Warriors will have to stage a significant comeback if they are to earn a spot in the Hudson Valley Men’s Athletic Conference championship.

Stung by shooting troubles and an inability to control St. Joseph’s near the basket, the Warriors fell behind 18-5 and 23-7 early in the first half of Saturday’s semifinal. The half ended with Vaughn behind 45-21 and the Warriors having hit on only 6 of 29 shots. St. Joseph’s, meanwhile, was red hot, connecting on 18 of 30 first-half shots.

It was a surprising start between two evenly matched teams. In fact, second-seeded Vaughn defeated third-seeded St. Joseph’s, 67-64, on the Brooklyn team’s floor in January.

Vaughn turned the ball over on its first two possessions, missed its first two shots and trailed 6-0 two minutes into Saturday’s semifinal. Jihad Ceaser scored Vaughn’s first five points before St. Joseph’s went on an 15-2 run to take control of the first half.

Earlier, defending champion and top seed Berkeley survived a game effort from host Albany Pharmacy to win Saturday’s first semifinal, 91-83. It was an unexpectedly difficult game for Berkeley, which did not play its best but had enough to defeat fourth-seeded Albany. Berkeley defeated Albany by 37 points Jan. 28.