Three thoughts: St. Francis (NY) vs. Albany

St. Francis (NY) returned to Brooklyn Heights for its first home game of the season against Albany on Monday night. The Terriers were unable to solve Albany’s three-guard attack and fell 76-64. The loss drops SFC to 3-7 overall. This was a 68-possession game, so both sides of the ball slipped up in this one. Here are three key takeaways from the game.

Albany’s three-guard attack was too much for St. Francis’ defense — Gerardo Suero, Mike Black and Logan Aronhalt combined for 50 points. That’s almost 2/3 the entire total for the Great Danes. Suero had 25 himself. The junior college transfer is a really tough guy to defend. He shot 9-16 from the field and 7-8 from the free throw line. He also added five rebounds and four assists for good measure. Stopping Albany requires slowing down Suero and the Terriers were unable to do it even though he must’ve been a focus coming into the game.

St. Francis has to be more aggressive — The eight free throws that Suero took were more than the entire Terriers team took combined. Even worse is the fact that SFC finished a miserable 0-7 from the free throw line. Playing at home for the first time the Terriers could’ve used the free throw line and foul situation to their advantage, but it was Albany that controlled the game at the charity stripe going 22-28. All those attempts by the Great Danes wasn’t unexpected. Thanks to Suero, who came into the game as one of the national leaders in fouls drawn, Albany ranked 94th with a 41.5% free throw rate. It was just a little higher at 53.8% against St. Francis. Part of the Terriers’ problem is that so much of their offense comes from the perimeter. St. Francis attempted 29 threes on Monday night, but shot a very respectable 14-29 (48.3%).

Turnovers are still a problem — St. Francis committed 18 turnovers. If this is really a jump-shooting team then that’s way too many. Give Justin Newton credit, he had eight assists against just two turnovers. Brent Jones on the other hand had three turnovers and three assists. Stefan Perunicic also got bit by the turnover bug and committed five. All those empty possessions are costing the Terriers opportunities for points that they just can’t afford to give up. Even though Albany attempted 21 more free throws the Great Danes attempted just three fewer shots because they committed five fewer turnovers.

Two other quicker notes:

1) Of Newton’s eight assists three went to Akeem Johnson for easy scores. Four went out to shooters for threes.
2) Jalen Cannon was limited to 13 minutes due to foul trouble. He had four points and four rebounds in those limited minutes. He has to do a better job of staying on the court.

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