Four NEC teams were in action tonight, but all were on the road. Alas, that meant no NEC Front Row, but it didn’t stop a couple of teams from getting solid victories. Here’s what happened.
LIU Brooklyn 83, Maine 70:
The Blackbirds exploded for 53 second half points and ran away with this game in Bangor, ME. Freshman point guard Elvar Fridriksson led the way with 19 points on just 5-6 shooting! (He also shot 7-9 from the free throw line.) Not only that, he had seven assists. Landon Atterberry added 16 points and the LIU bench also managed to contribute a bit. Iverson Fleming played 20 minutes off the bench and scored 11 points, including a perfect 3-3 from three and Joel Hernandez added six points, two rebounds and two blocks in 22 minutes. Maine is really struggling right now, so LIU had to know it was a winnable game and thanks to 59% three-point shooting the Blackbirds don’t have to worry about going winless anymore.
NJIT 68, St. Francis Brooklyn 66:
St. Francis had the enviable task of getting to play the NJIT Highlanders coming off the program’s biggest ever victory. The game was at the Fleischer Center in Newark, NJ, just a short trip from Brooklyn. Like a number of SFC’s other losses this season, this one was about falling just short at the end. Tyreek Jewell had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but missed a three. He did score 14 points on 14 shots. Brent Jones continued his strong play of late, with 16 points and Jalen Cannon added 12 points. This game was close the entire time, but Damon Lynn hit two free throws with 1:13 remaining in the game and that ended up being the decisive margin. The Terriers’ 2-6 record obscures the fact that they’ve been competitive in every game this season, but this is another one that they just let slip away.
No. 25 Notre Dame 93, Mount St. Mary’s 67:
I hope Jamion Christian’s team enjoyed their time on the Notre Dame gridiron earlier in the day, because by the time they stepped out onto the basketball court things go ugly fast. The Fighting Irish led by 25 at halftime, and while they took their foot off the gas in the second 20 minutes still coasted to comfortable victory. Chris Martin scored 19 points and Will Miller added 12 for the the Mount, which shot just 37% from the field. On the other side, Notre Dame shot a blistering 59% from the field (and 57% from three) on the way to the convincing victory.
Bryant 80, Army 73:
Going into West Point, NY and getting a victory is much more difficult now than people realize, so this is a really nice step forward for Tim O’Shea’s squad. The Bulldogs rode a strong game from Dyami Starks — 23 points on 8-17 shooting — and an excellent performance off the bench by Hunter Ware — 17 points on 5-10 shooting — to a much needed victory. Army struggled from three-point range. The Black Knights’ stars showed up (Kyle Wilson scored 19 points and Kevin Ferguson had a double-double), but Bryant’s backups soundly outplayed Army’s. (Or rather Bryant’s starters didn’t get tired while having to also play against Army’s backups, because the Bulldogs only went seven deep in this game.) The 1.19 points per possession Bryant scored was their best offensive output of the entire season.
One thought on “NEC Recap — Dec. 9”
Still another close loss for the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers (this time versus NJIT) just screams “Work In Progress”. In the pre-season, Coach Braica discounted his team’s NEC favorite label and emphasized that it would take some time to mesh seven new faces into his system. A lot of Terrier fans dismissed that as being a coach’s cautious comments and thought that the Remsen Street bunch had more than enough returning, would continue winning games they should win, and might spring a couple of mild upsets in the non-conference portion of the schedule. Apparently, Braica was right on the money, to the chagrin of the program’s followers. Although the Terriers seem to be on the right track, but falling a bit short of the finish line, one constant stands out. On a team with so many seniors and juniors, there doesn’t seem to be anyone on the roster who has yet emerged as the “go-to” guy — a guy who’s going to take the team on his back and “will” it to the win. Last year, they had a number of people who stepped up at the crucial moment during the non-conference schedule, “willing” it to a record nine non-NEC wins. There’s still a lot of talent on the St. Francis roster, despite the 50% turnover in personnel from last year. Until that player finally emerges, the fans will just have to continue reaching for the Pepcid.