Your trusty guide, Ryan Peters isn’t here for the final Saturday of the regular season. So I’m going to be taking the reigns as every home team won on Saturday.
Bryant 61, St. Francis Brooklyn 51
The champs went down! But a look inside the box score of this one shows that SFC wasn’t playing for keeps. Once against Glenn Sanabria was held out as Glenn Braica tried to give his bad knee some more rest. Likely NEC Player of the Year Jalen Cannon played just 10 minutes and went 0-2 with four offensive rebounsd and three turnovers. On the other, Tim O’Shea wanted the win. Dyami Starks played 39 minutes and Bryant played its typical rotation throughout. Bosco Kostur was the Bulldogs’ offensive threat. He scored 23 points on 8-16 shooting from the field (7-11 on twos) and 6-6 from the free throw line. Given SFC’s depleted lineup the Bulldogs also locked down on defense, holding the Terriers to just 0.75 points per possession. Yes, that’s SFC’s worst offensive output of the season, but it’s mostly because of the lineup machinations. Both of these teams will be playing home games on Wednesday, but Bryant is the third seed thanks to the next one.
Robert Morris 71, Saint Francis U. 70 (OT)
Lucky Jones wasn’t about the let RMU lose this one on Senior Night. He scored 20 points, mostly thanks to going 8-9 at the line, and did just enough to help the Colonials escape with a victory. Rodney Pryor added 22 points for RMU. Marcquise Reed though was help to just eight points on 3-8 shooting. Also, Elijah Minnie didn’t do much offensively, but he had 12 defensive rebounds. Earl Brown (30 points, 10 rebounds) and Malik Harmon (14 points) were once again the only real offensive threats for Rob Krimmel’s squad. Who finished under a point per possession for the third time in four games (all losses). The win earns the Colonials the No. 2 seed in the NEC tournament and they’ll host Wagner on Wednesday.
Mount St. Mary’s 74, Wagner 64
The Mount ripped apart Wagner’s defense, to the tune of 1.16 points per possession in pulling out a comfortable 10-point victory at home to secure the fourth seed in the NEC tournament. The Mount shot 54% on two-point attempts as they dominated inside. MSM only attempted nine free throws in this game, but made every single one. Byron Ashe came off the bench on Senior Day, but led the way with 19 points on 6-11 shooting. Will Miller (11 points), Andy Smeathers (11 points) and Lamont Robinson (10 points) all scored in double-figures for the Mount as well. Wagner was led by Mike Aaman. He had 21 points and grabbed six rebounds in the loss. MSM also really bottled up Marcus Burton. Wagner’s star player didn’t score a point, in fact he only took two shots in 38 minutes.
Sacred Heart 84, LIU Broolyn 73
The Pioneers avoided the eighth seed in the NEC tournament thanks to a home victory over LIU. It was the Blackbirds’ fourth straight loss and actually probably sets up harder games – just due to matchups – for both second seeded Bryant and top seeded St. Francis Brooklyn. Tevin Falzon had another excellent gamen for SHU, with 16 points and seven rebounds, but it was Cane Broome who led the way offensive with 21 points on 7-13 shooting. Phil Gaetano added 10 assists (but seven turnovers). LIU continued its habit for balanced scoring, as Martin Hermannsson led the way with 16 points, but Elvar Frioriksson (14 points), Gerrell Martin (12 points) and Trevin Woods (10 points) each scored at least 10 points. The Blackbirds committed 21 turnovers (28% turnover rate). Thanks in part to the efforts of Falzon, and DeVon Barnett (11 rebounds, including four offensive) the Pioneers grabbed 46% of their misses.
Fairleigh Dickinson 73, Central Connecticut 66
In the season finale for both teams FDU sent Mustafaa Jones and Darius Stokes out winners, but it was a freshman that did most of the heavy lifting. Marques Townes is back after an extended absence and led the Knights with 16 points. Jones did have 11 points in 37 minutes, but he finished just 3-10 from three in the game. CCSU finished off the season with another struggle on the offensive end, scoring just 0.92 points per possession. Matt Mobley – as he has done most of the season – led the way with 18 points on 16 shots. Former walk-on Greg Andrade had 15 points and 17 rebounds in his final collegiate game with the Blue Devils. Both teams finished the NEC season at 3-15, but the Knights swept CCSU, so I suppose technically finish in ninth place.
NEC Player of the Day: Lucky Jones – A turn back the clock night for the RMU senior as he helped power the Colonials to a must win in overtime.
NEC Performance of the Day: Bryant – The Bulldogs got some help, but managed to win and secure the third seed in the NEC tournament, which comes in handy sometimes.
NEC Final Standings:
1. St. Francis Brooklyn 15-3
2. Robert Morris 12-6
3. Bryant 12-6
4. Mount St. Mary’s 11-7
5. St. Francis U. 9-9
6. Sacred Heart 9-9
7. Wagner 8-10
8. LIU Brookyln 8-10
9. Fairleigh Dickinson 3-15
10. Central Connecticut 3-15
Next Up (All Games, Wed. March 4 at 7 p.m.):
#8 LIU Brooklyn at #1 St. Francis Brooklyn
#7 Wagner at #2 Robert Morris
#6 Sacred Heart at #3 Bryant
#5 Saint Francis U. at #4 Mount St. Mary’s