Saturday Roundup – Dec. 7

Big Apple Buckets covered five games last night, but we couldn’t be everywhere on a busy Saturday that included 116 games Division I games. Here are some thoughts from a few of the other games involving local teams.

St. John’s 69, Syracuse 57: I (justifiably so) give St. John’s a lot of grief on this site, so I want to acknowledge what is defintely the Red Storm’s best victory this season and one that could help bolster their at-large case come Selection Sunday. Winning at the Carrier Dome is no easy task, but St. John’s scored 1.10 points per possession thanks to 9-16 shooting from three. D’Angelo Harrison had a heck of a game, shooting 4-6 from three and 8-8 from the free throw line. Chris Obekpa played 39 minutes and had 16 rebounds and four blocks. This is the team that Steve Lavin has envisioned for a long time in Queens. There isn’t a ton of depth — only six guys really played in a 63-possession game — but if St. John’s can finish 21-10, 11-7 in the Big East as KenPom currently projects then the Red Storm would have the look of a NCAA tournament team once again.

Princeton 77, Stony Brook 64: Jameel Warney had another double-double, but just didn’t get the support he needs from the rest of the Seawolves on the road at Jadwin Gym. Warney had 12 points and 13 rebounds. Rayshaun McGrew actually led the Seawolves with 18 points. SBU turned the ball over 23 times, or almost a third of their possessions. It’s really hard to win games that way.

St. Francis Brooklyn 65, Liberty 54: The Terriers got their second win of the season on the road at Liberty. The win also pushed them back into the top 200 on KenPom. Jalen Cannon dominated the game offensively, scoring 16 points on 5-12 shooting with six offensive rebounds. Brent Jones added 16 points and Amdy Fall scored 14 in just 21 minutes, including 8-10 free throw shooting. That three-man attack is exactly what Glenn Braica envisions come NEC play. SFC shot 19-24 from the free throw line, which had to be encouraging for Braica as well. One concern might be the fact that SFC shot just 2-20 from three.

Columbia 62, Bucknell 39: Just four days after losing to Loyola (MD) late, the Lions left no doubt at Levien on Saturday night, holding the Bison to 39 points in 57 possessions. Bucknell shot just 13-38 from the field. Corey Osetkowski had an excellent game with 12 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and three blocks. It’s that type of performance that Kyle Smith wants every night from his senior center. It’ll be hard though to replicate that performance in Columbia’s next game, as the Lions are heading to Lexington, KY to take on Kentucky.

Lafayette 97, Wagner 84: This game showed that the Seahawks’ defense has a long way to go. Lafayette scored 1.35 points per possession. Even though the Leopards committed 20 turnovers, they shot 20-29 on twos and 13-23 on threes to put up the offensive fireworks. Wagner actually played pretty well on offense. Corey Henson led the way with 16 points and Romone Saunders (14 points), JoJo Cooper (13 points) and Aaren Edmead (12 points) each provided offense. The defense though has to be a huge concern for Bashir Mason.

Seton Hall 81, Rutgers 54: The Boardwalk trophy is goes to SHU after an absolute demolition of their downstate rival. I’m not buying Seton Hall as an at-large candidate stock yet, mostly because the Pirates have played a really week non-conference slate to get to 7-0, but they’ll at least be dangerous in the Big East. Isaiah Whitehead is pretty awesome though. He scored 25 points on 9-15 shooting, including 4-5 from three. Angel Delgado is also a terror inside. He had a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. The Hall has a lot of young talent and are fun to watch, but if they don’t beat Wichita State on Tuesday then it’ll basically be impossible to get a quality win outside of Big East play.

Other League Games of Note:

NEC

Saint Francis U. 69, Albany 59; Mount St. Mary’s 74, Loyola (MD) 65 — Two good wins for two more NEC teams. The NEC went 5-4 yesterday. Earl Brown dominated in the paint, scoring 16 points. It could’ve been even more if shot better than 3-7 from the free throw line. Byron Ashe, who has been in Jamion Christian’s doghouse, came off the bench for the Mountaineers and scored 16 points in 26 minutes, to lead the way.

MAAC

Canisius 77, Niagara 64; Saint Peter’s 70, Boston U. 59 — The Golden Griffs are a big surprise early in the season and they’ll be atop the MAAC standings for about a month after going undefeated during the December weekend. Jim Baron has developed a really balanced lineup. Phil Valenti had 15 points and 10 boards against the Purple Eagles. Don’t look now, but KenPom thinks that Canisius has a chance to be a contender the year after Billy Baron. The Peacocks will be at the bottom of the MAAC standings for a bit, but did get a nice win on the road over struggling Boston U. on Saturday. Marvin Dominique had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Quadir Welton added 16 points in the win. Trevis Wyche also had 10 assists and just one turnover. SPU needs Wyche to be a playmaker at the point with Desi Washington still injured.

Ivy League

Cornell 71, UMass Lowell 60; Harvard 64, Vermont 52 (OT): Brown 69, Bryant 62 — Cornell continues to be one of the biggest surprises of this young season. The Big Red beat UMass Lowell at home, ending UML’s six-game winning streak. The Big Red are athletic and have been excellent defensively. Opponents are shooting just 41% on two-point attempts against Cornell thus far this season. Harvard escaped in overtime on the road at the America East’s best team. And Brown won a battle for Rhode Island bring the Ivy League to a perfect 7-0 on the day. The only team that didn’t win was Yale, which upset UConn on Friday night. What a weekend for the league.

One thought on “Saturday Roundup – Dec. 7

  1. The SFC Terriers’ next game might be a real tough one, as NJIT is probably still on a high from their surprising Michigan upset. The Highlanders might pull in a few more fans at home than usual to cheer them on, now that they have that shocking signature win. Considering their remaining non-conference slate, how the Terriers handle this coming Tuesday’s game, their away contest at a suddenly-ascending Monmouth squad, and a tussle against an always-tough Columbia program will certainly give us an indication of whether the guys from Brooklyn have it this year or not.

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