I’ll have more on LIU Brooklyn and the Blackbirds’ defensive struggles sometime in the near future (and Sam Blum will have a full recap of the game that ended on yet another clutch three by Gerrell Martin). But there were a number of other games played on Wednesday night and here are my thoughts about the impact of five of them.
1) St. John’s 81, San Francisco 57 — The other game in New York City on Wednesday night didn’t need nearly as much drama to come to a conclusion. The Red Storm crushed the Dons by blasting out of the gates and never looking back. Quinn Rochford has his final recap for at least awhile tonight at Rumble In the Garden. He’ll certainly be missed. The 1.19 points per possession the Red Storm put up isn’t exactly as impressive as their complete domination of Fordham at MSG, but it’s darn impressive. Four of the five starters scored in double-figures. At this point St. John’s just has to play out its schedule and hope to do enough in Big East play. The most important thing now is continuing to build continuity and playing to each other’s strengths. Rysheed Jordan seems to be doing just that as he scored 11 points and dished out 4 assists in the win.
2) Robert Morris 72, Campbell 61 — While LIU Brooklyn was struggling with Lamar the Colonials earned a comfortable victory over the Fighting Camels. This is how the offense is supposed to work for RMU. Anthony Myers-Pate was especially poised as he had 12 points and 8 assists and Lucky Jones scored 18 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. What’s probably going to help Andy Toole sleep at night though is that RMU allowed just 61 points in 64 possessions. That 0.95 points per possession is the second straight time, but just the third time this season, that the Colonials have held an opponent under 1.00 points per possession. Colonials Corner has a full recap on this game.
3) Massachusetts 83, Ohio 71 — I just wanted to point out how awesome Chaz Williams is. The New York City product had arguably an off game and still put up 11 points and 11 assists in 37 minutes as the Minutemen stayed undefeated by winning at Ohio (which isn’t exactly an easy place to play). Hofstra fans are probably still dreaming of what could’ve been had he and Halil Kanacevic (27 points, 14 rebounds in St. Joseph’s win over Drexel) stayed on Long Island. The Assist Tracker treatment is coming for Williams.
4) Dartmouth 62, New Hampshire 48 — Even in odd little games played between in-state rivals the Ivy League continues to impress. The Big Green were just two-point favorites going into this game according to Ken Pomeroy’s computers, but managed to pull away for a 14-point win. Gabas Maldunas had 12 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks in the win. Tyler Melville scored 17 points. (People told me to watch out for him!) Dartmouth only really went 7 players deep, which is interesting, but the Big Green are now over .500 again on the season at 5-4.
5) Vermont 62, UMass-Lowell 48 — The final score makes it look like a ho-hum opener for the America East favorite over the newcomer. The Catamounts actually trailed by six points at halftime. Then UVM outscored UML 35-15 in the second half. In order to beat Vermont you must stop Clancy Rugg from getting to the free throw line. The Riverhawks couldn’t. He made 13 trips to the charity stripe and made 11. He scored a total of 19 points. Right now there’s just a huge question of where UML is going to get points. It showed in the second half. Fun fact: Vermont attempted just three three-pointers in this game (and missed them all).