Apparently there’s a flair for the dramatic in Brooklyn these days.
For the second straight night an NEC team from Brooklyn escaped in dramatic fashion. It was St. Francis Brooklyn’s turn on Thursday as Aleksandar Isailovic’s three-point attempt from the right wing bounced off of the backboard and in to give the Terriers a 65-62 victory over Lafayette.
“It’s crazy. It’s the first time in my basketball career,” said Isailovic said about the moment. He was beaming as after the game during post game interviews. “It’s real exciting and I’m real excited about that.”
Lafayette was playing without their leading scorer Seth Hinrichs, who injured his left knee and is out indefinitely. In his absence sophomore Bryce Scott took the lion’s share of the offensive load scoring 35 points on 17 shots in 30 minutes.
“Someone’s got to pick up those points a little bit and step into the scoring role so I tried to be a little more aggressive,” Scott said. “You can’t replace Seth Hinrichs.”
Scott tried his hardest though. He even hit the game-tying shot with 21 seconds remaining. It looked like it would be enough to get Lafayette to overtime until Isailovic’s heroics.
Unfortunately for the Leopards they weren’t able to give Scott much support. Joey Ptasinksi went 0-7 from the field, including 0-5 from three, and Nick Lindner committed six of Lafayette’s 19 turnovers. While Lafayette seemed to be comfortable moving the ball against SFC’s defense in the first half, the second half was a completely different matter. The Terriers held the Leopards without a field goal for the first 6:16 of the half until Zach Rufer got free for a layup. By that time SFC led by seven points.
It was a good thing that the Terriers’ defense stepped up to the challenge because the offense struggled a bit once again. Jalen Cannon scored 19 points. He went 5-14 from the field, but 9-12 from the free throw line. He also grabbed nine rebounds, but wasn’t satisfied with the effort.
“I kind of felt like I was rushing myself a little bit,” Cannon said. “I feel like if I had slowed down a little bit I would’ve made more shots I could’ve had a lot more points, but sometimes you have off days and today was my off day.”
The rest of the Terriers contributed to the scoreboard in smaller ways. Isailovic went 3-5 from three and scored 9 points. It’s up to Isailovic to provide floor spacing now that Ben Mockford is out due to back spasms. He’s also getting more comfortable on the court.
“Guys and coaches have faith in me and they know I’m going to hit those shots. Finally I made some shots,” Isailovic said.
Brent Jones also helped steady the Terriers’ offense. While he finished with 8 points, 2 assists and 2 turnovers in 28 minutes his veteran hand on the wheel helped the offense pick its spots during the decisive run. Jones also made plays on the defensive end with two steals and a block.
The other way the Terriers got points was dominating on the offensive boards. They grabbed 19 offensive rebounds, including five by Cannon and three by Wayne Martin. SFC got 11 second chance points thanks to all those extra chances. The 37-31 rebounding advantage really fails to highlight how big of an advantage the Terriers gained by hitting the glass. The athleticism of Martin, Cannon and Amdy Fall was just way too much for Lafayette’s big men to handle. It also helped SFC get to the line 30 times, but they made only 18 as Fall and Martin shot a combined 4-11 from the free throw line.
The win puts St. Francis Brooklyn’s record at 7-5 overall going into Monday’s game against NJIT. The Terriers have the best record in the NEC. If the defense continues to play at this level and the offense gets just a little bit better Glenn Braica’s squad has the chance to flip the script on preseason expectations. Maybe without all the last-second heroics.
6 thoughts on “St. Francis Brooklyn 65, Lafayette 62”
Great article John! And thanks so much for finding a link to the shot. You’re probably my favorite college basketball writer in the country, and I follow it religiously. You always give us the truth. You’re rarely biased. It’s evident how much you love what you do in your pieces and on your twitter. You respond to my constant questions almost right away. A lot of the big time reporters only respond to negative tweets. If they do respond to my questions I usually doubt if they are actually giving me a truthful answer. I have complete confidence that every time you answer, it’s the truth. Even though you are sometimes involved with ESPN you would never let them influence your writing. I’m still very young, and the amount that I have learned from you about college basketball has been amazing. I hope you cover basketball in my area forever! Keep it up!
And I guess SFC is proving good defense will beat good offense 🙂
Losing Hinrichs is a tough break for O’Hanlon’s club. When the Leopards got off to an 0-5 start many observers wrote them off. When they played at Princeton in November I expected a fairly easy test for the Tigers. WRONG! Lafayette took Princeton into overtime at Jadwin. Although the Tigers held on to win by a point no Tiger fan felt anything but relief. I hope Hinrichs gets back into action soon because Lafayette can be a factor in the Patriot League.
Nice win for Coach B., coming off the Canisius win 67-51. Yes,
good defense, and we do need a bit more percentage in shooting.
But all in all, a good start at 7-5 in non-conference play. And, oh,
it hasn’t been St. Francis (NY) for over a year now. We are as
traditional and it is official ‘St Francis Brooklyn’.
An ole (class of 61) alum writing from home in Spain
We don’t use St. Francis (NY) in copy anywhere anymore. But it’s in the lists as legacy from before the switch. I’ll see what I can do and thanks for reading.
BAB can use whichever label they wish for the Terriers as far as I’m concerned. As long as the Red and Blue keep plugging away this season and make a serious run at the Big Dance, it should be a memorable year. If they can pull it off, there’s not doubt that they’ll be the talk of the town — small Franciscan commuter school tucked away in a cozy corner of Brooklyn Heights challenging all comers. It’s a nice story just waiting to happen.