Conference play got kicked into high-gear on Monday with some big match ups. You can checkout my recap of Manhattan’s loss to Rider in the post below, but here are some things you should know about four other key games, including two non-conference wins for Columbia and NJIT.
Virginia Commonwealth 80, Hofstra 63 — After taking out Iona, VCU was just too much for the Pride. The Rams got a balanced scoring effort and Hofstra struggled from the field shooting just 3-12 from three. Mike Moore shot 4-14 from the field and scored 14 points. Hofstra’s been going as Dwan McMillan goes and the point guard really struggled against VCU. He played 25 minutes, committed five fouls, committed six turnovers and was 1-3 from the field for four points. Hofstra is now 0-2 in the CAA and goes to Delaware for its next game on Wednesday.
Stony Brook 65, Vermont 59 — Surprisingly this wasn’t a super-slow game. In fact at 65 possessions it was about the pace that SBU normally plays at. That worked for the Seawolves too as they were able to shoot surprisingly well (22-40, 44%) and take home the victory. Al Rapier led Stony Brook with 17 points on 6-11 shooting. Tommy Brenton did a little bit of everything with eight points, nine boards, four assists and three steals. Bryan Dougher scored 14 points, including 3-7 three-point shooting. This is a big win for the Seawolves at home against a team that should be in contention for the America East title this season. SBU takes on Binghamton, which lost by 15 to Maine in its conference opener, on Thursday.
NJIT 78, Lafayette 58 — The trio of Arjun Ohri, Chris Flores and Isaiah Wilkerson all scored a bunch of points for the Highlanders and they blew out the Leopards at the Fleisher Center. Flores led NJIT with 23 points and also had 11 rebounds. Ohri shot 5-7 from three, 7-11 overall and scored 19 points. On the day he was named the Great West Player of the Week Wilkerson scored 17 points, grabbed five rebounds and handed out five assists. With the win the Highlanders more to 6-7 overall and this is by far their best win of the season. A win like this also seems to solidify the fact that NJIT can beat any of their five Great West Conference mates when that season starts on January 19 against Houston Baptist. Before that though there are three more games to play including at Longwood on Saturday.
Columbia 67, Fairleigh Dickinson 52 — The Lions used their game against FDU to get back to where they need to be defensively. Meiko Lyles scored 24 points to power the offense (here’s his post game interview) and then the defense did the rest as the Knights shot 20-54 (37%) from the field and just 1-5 from three in the game. Kinu Rochford scored 15 points to lead FDU. The Knights host Wagner in NEC play on Thursday.