Road teams ruled the day on Saturday in the NEC as five of the six games went to the guys on the road. There were also a number of big upsets and an ugly day for New York City.
Robert Morris 60, LIU Brooklyn 57 – The game of the day on ESPNU didn’t disappoint. RMU got Velton Jones back and needed every single one of his 26 minutes and nine points. Jones’ basket with 12 seconds remaining gave the Colonials their final lead of the game. Jamal Olasewere finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds. In a rare change of roles Jason Brickman looked for his shot more often and finished with 19 points and four assists. While RMU was just 20-54 from the field, they finished 10-24 from three. This was a slow, defensive battle. The Colonials made a definitive effort to slow the game down offensively and it worked at just 62 total possessions. C.J. Garner scored his 1,000th career point in the loss.
Mount St. Mary’s 91, Sacred Heart 82 – Hot first half shooting gave MSM a 50-27 lead at halftime. The Mount shot 8-14 from three and 17-27 overall during the first half. SHU scored 55 points in the second half, but committed 11 turnovers and couldn’t find enough points to pull out the win on the road. Rashad Whack scored 35 points on 10-16 (7-10 from three) shooting. Louis Montes had another big game for SHU with 21 points and freshman De’Aires Tate scored 14 points and grabbed eight boards. The loss dropped Sacred Heart into a three-way tie for third behind Bryant and Robert Morris. You can read Ryan’s full recap of the game here.
Quinnipiac 74, Wagner 69 – Another team in that three-way tie for third is Wagner, which couldn’t overcome a 31-19 first half deficit. Quinnipiac shot 44 free throws and shooting 82 percent from the line helped the Bobcats score an extremely unusual 1.10 points per possession. Ike Azotam was one of five Bobcats who scored more than 10 points. He had 15, Ousmane Drame had 13, Zaid Heart 12, Evan Conti 11 and Shaq Shannon 10. Drame also had 10 rebounds. Wagner got big games from Latif Rivers (29 points), Kenny Ortiz (19 and 9 rebounds) and Jonathon Williams (11 points), but no other Seahawk scored more than four points. Rivers scored the 1,000th point of his career in the loss.
St. Francis (PA) 64, St. Francis Brooklyn 61 – After beating RMU on Thursday, the Terriers followed it up with a frustrating loss to the Red Flash on Saturday evening. Jalen Cannon had 20 points and 11 boards for SFC, but the rest of the offense struggled. Playing at home the Terriers scored 0.92 points per possession. The SFU got a big game from Earl Brown, who had a double-double of his own with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Ollie Jackson also had a strong game with 14 points, six assists and four rebounds. The loss dropped SFC to 5-5 in conference and was just the second win in conference play for the Red Flash.
Central Connecticut 80, Fairleigh Dickinson 71 – CCSU scored the first seven points of the game and led by more than 20 points before FDU closed the gap. Kyle Vinales only played 20 minutes and scored seven points. Adonis Burbage played 38 minutes and led the Blue Devils with 24 points. Yves Jules scored 34 points in 24 minutes, but no other Knight scored more than eight points. At 6-4 Howie Dickenmann’s team is now part of the logjam in third place.
Bryant 77, Monmouth 62 – Jesse Steele scored 27 points, but the rest of the Hawks shot 12-43 in a 15-point home loss to first place Bulldogs. Frankie Dobbs dropped his job as facilitator for a night and scored 27 points (on 6-9 shooting and 11-13 from the line). Alex Francis had 15 points and 11 boards and the rest of the Bryant rotation contributed. Until the final minute the Bulldogs only played seven guys. (I guess there is a long break coming up.)
1. Bryant (8-2)
2. Robert Morris (7-3)
3. Wagner (6-4)
3. LIU Brooklyn (6-4)
3. Central Connecticut (6-4)
3. Sacred Heart (6-4)
7. St. Francis Brooklyn (5-5)
7. Quinnipiac (5-5)
9. Mount St. Mary’s (4-6)
10. Monmouth (3-7)
11. Fairleigh Dickinson (2-8)
12. St. Francis (PA) (2-8)