NEC Recap — The First Saturday

The opening weekend of Northeast Conference play is now in the books and Mount St. Mary’s, Fairleigh Dickinson and St. Francis Brooklyn are all still undefeated in conference play. 

Mount St. Mary’s 57, Wagner 56

Chris Wray blocked Corey Henson’s last-second drive down the lane as the Mount held of for a one-point victory at Knotts Arena. Mount St. Mary’s (2-0 NEC) has Wray to thank for escaping the first NEC weekend unscathed, as he also hit the game-winner against LIU Brooklyn on Thursday.

The game was a defensive struggle. Neither team managed to score more than a point per possession in the slow-tempo (60 possession) slugfest. Freshman Miles Wilson led the Mount with 13 points, but shot just 4-14 from the field. Wray scored eight points and also had 10 rebounds. Justin Robinson struggled from the field (2-8), but went 6-7 from the line and scored 10, while Elijah Long added 12. The pair of wins this weekend is huge for the Mount, as they’ll be at Bryant and Central Connecticut next weekend.

Wagner (1-1 NEC) was led by Henson. The senior guard’s only miss from the field was Wray’s block at the buzzer. Henson shot 6-7 from the field and scored 13 points. His personal 7-0 run with about eight minutes remaining in the game was how the Seahawks even had a chance to win at the buzzer. The Seahawks scored just 16 points in the first half. Michael Carey scored 10 points, but on 5-11 shooting. Freshman Blake Francis, who hit two big threes down the stretch, finished with 11 for Wagner. Francis is shooting 52% from three for the season.

Fairleigh Dickinson 81, Robert Morris 77

Darian Anderson scored 26 points, including the go-ahead NBA-range three with 2:35 remaining, as Fairleigh Dickinson (2-0 NEC) hung on to defeat Robert Morris (1-1 NEC) in Teaneck. It was RMU head coach Andy Toole’s first ever loss to FDU.

FDU was powered by its backcourt. Darnell Edge added 18 points, and Stephan Jiggets and Earl Potts, Jr. each scored 14. The Colonials did manage to at least slow down FDU’s high-powered attack, but the Knights shot 28-30 (93%) from the free throw line to close out the victory.

RMU was quite balanced offensively, but that balance included 19 turnovers. Aaron Tate, Isaiah Still, and Kavon Stewart each had three giveaways. Stewart and Braden Burke tied for the team lead with 12 points apiece.

Saint Francis U. 87, Sacred Heart 67

The Pioneers dropped to 0-2 in the NEC with their fourth consecutive loss and second conference loss at home. Defense was the problem for Sacred Heart, as they allowed 1.18 points per possession (87 in 74) on the game. Freshman Keith Braxton nearly had a double-double by halftime for Saint Francis (1-1 NEC) and finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Isaiah Blackmon had a double-double with 22 points and 10 boards and Georgios Angelou added 16 and 6 assists.

The Red Flash led by 14 at halftime. The effort was an issue for the Pioneers. Joe Lopez, who was fantastic against Robert Morris, picked up his second foul of the game with 11 minutes remaining in the first half and didn’t play until after the break. SFU stretched its lead from eight to 14 during that time. Charles Tucker, Jr. led SHU with 19 points. He also dished out nine assists.

St. Francis Brooklyn 87, Central Connecticut 77 OT

St. Francis Brooklyn earn its second consecutive home overtime victory to start NEC play as the Terriers defeated Central Connecticut.

It was the hot shooting of Glenn Sanabria that carried SFC through the first half. The redshirt sophomore scored 15 points on 5-6 shooting from 3 in the first 20 minutes as the Terriers led by four at the break. Sanabria finished with 26 points on 7-11 shooting from deep.

Rasheem Dunn scored 19 points for the Terriers. He was SFC’s go-to scorer down the stretch and went 9-12 from the free throw line. Yunus Hopkinson added 17.

It looked like the Terriers had the game wrapped up in regulation, but freshman Eric Bowles hit a double-clutch 3 with two seconds remaining to tie the game at 71. Bowles finished with 10 points and 5 assists in 36 minutes. CCSU (0-2 NEC) pounded the smaller Terriers on the glass, grabbing 23 offensive rebounds. Tidell Pierre grabbed 19 rebounds for the Blue Devils and scored 15 points. Pierre only scored four points in the second half. His fifth foul came in overtime and was ruled a flagrant one, which ultimately sealed the game for SFC.

The Terriers had to play a large chunk of the game without their leading rebounder Gunnar Olafsson. Olafsson injured his back on a fall in the first half, but SFC’s Glenn Braica said that he expected Olafsson to be available moving forward. Robert Montgomery had his second consecutive strong game. The freshman scored 9 points, grabbed 7 boards and blocked 3 shots in 27 minutes. Braica hopes that Montgomery can help solidify the pivot for the Terriers, as the inexperience there has been a serious issue all season long.

LIU Brooklyn 74, Bryant 63

Jerome Frink scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and freshman Jashaun Agosto returned with 17 points and 9 assists and LIU Brooklyn (1-1 NEC) blew out Bryant (0-2 NEC).

Nisre Zouzoua scored 23 points to lead the Bulldogs in the loss. He didn’t get much help though as Adam Grant scored 12 points on 12 shots and Marcel Pettway was the only other Bryant player in double-figures with 10 (4-6 from the field).

Nura Zanna scored 6 points on 3-3 shooting, but received a double-techical in the second half. After struggling against Mount St. Mary’s, Iverson Fleming scored 13 points on 4-8 shooting for the Blackbirds. LIU led by 17 points at the break and coasted for much of the second half, as the lead never dipped below 10 points.

NEC Player of the Day

Jerome Frink, LIU Brooklyn – After struggling against Mount St. Mary’s double teams on Thursday the NEC Player of the Year candidate bounced back with 23 points and 15 rebounds to help power the Blacbkirds to a much needed home victory over Bryant.

NEC Standings
1) Mount St. Mary’s, 2-0
2) Fairleigh Dickinson, 2-0
3) St. Francis Brooklyn, 2-0
4) Wagner, 1-1
5) Robert Morris, 1-1
6) LIU Brooklyn, 1-1
7) Saint Francis University, 1-1
8) Sacred Heart, 0-2
9) Bryant, 0-2
10) Central Connecticut, 0-2

3 thoughts on “NEC Recap — The First Saturday

  1. The sign of a good team is winning when not playing your best. FDU shot poorly from 3 point range 5-26, and Mike Holloway got into early foul trouble leaving FDU with no inside threat. However 26-28 from Free Throw line and winning the turnover battle 17-8 was the difference. Earl Potts still struggling with his shooting, but still found a way to help FDU win with 11 points in the 2nd half. Looks like Darian Anderson is heading for an MVP year in the NEC. Looks like another exciting season in the NEC with any team capable of beating any team. GO KNIGHTS!


  2. St. Francis Brooklyn showed some real grit in winning two close overtime games. Both Glenn Sanabria and Yunus Hopkinson seem to be capable of providing enough timely long range firepower [until the post game develops some real consistency] and steady backcourt leadership now that the Terriers are playing similar NEC opponents. Sixth man frosh Rasheem Dunn has shown that he has the skill set, attacking attitude and both-ends-of- the-court determination that should make him an All-NEC selection down the road. He really put his mark on both of those overtime sessions. Fellow frosh forward Rob Montgomery seems to be coming on over the last several games and might soon develop into that inside scoring threat the Terriers so sorely need. Still tough to say how many NEC wins the Terriers are capable of recording, but there seems to be some definite improvement. The Western Pennsylvania trip coming up later this week will be a far better indicator of how fast Glenn Braica’s group is coming on.


  3. LIU was missing Agosto, its starting PG and had a player go 3-for-21 (How does that even happen?!?!) against Mount on Thursday and would have forced overtime if not for a length of the court play at the buzzer.

    On Saturday, with Agosto back, they destroyed Bryant in a game that was really never close after the first 10 minutes. Would have liked to have seen the game on Thursday with both teams at full strength.

    Blackbirds are going to be a tough team to beat this year, in my unbiased opinion (ha ha). Frink & Zanna are men amongst boys and Agosto adds an additional element that the team has been missing since CJ Garner left. A lot of role players that can add different things to the game when needed (van Sauers, Frias, Clark, Batts).

    Will be a tough road trip to PA this week but it wouldn’t surprise me to see LIU in contention for one of the top 2-3 spots in the league when all is said and done.


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