St. Francis (NY) solidified its position in second place in the NEC with a 73-67 victory over Central Connecticut State on Thursday in Brooklyn Heights as the team continues to get contributions from every place on the court.
It’s probably no surprise to observers of the NEC that Wagner continues to lead these rankings. Yes, LIU Brooklyn is undefeated, but the Blackbirds haven’t had the convincing margins that the Seahawks have had this season. As a caveat though it’s worth noting that Wagner has played the easiest conference schedule amongst the contenders. Overall, Sacred Heart has played the most difficult slate thus far and Mount St. Mary’s the easiest.
Iona lost tonight to Santa Clara and if you saw the Broncos celebrating on the court afterwards you know that this title meant something to them. Both teams played hard, but it was the battle-tested Santa Clara squad that pulled out the 76-69 victory to take the title. The margin might seem small, but this was a pretty convincing victory as Santa Clara was able to go inside and dominate the paint.
It wasn’t that the Broncos shot better, because they didn’t. It was they got more shots up. Santa Clara had 18 offensive rebounds on 39 missed shots, which works out to an offensive rebounding percentage of 43.6%. Iona came into the game allowing teams to grab 29.5% of their misses, while Santa Clara came in pulling down 35.8% of their misses. Neither of those percentages suggested this would happen.
But it did and the Broncos, even after committing six more turnovers, ended up with three extra shots – approximately the difference in the game. Take a look at the Four Factors below.