What a difference the level of competition can make. Three NEC teams played on Monday night against opponents of vastly different quality. What transpired might seem obvious in retrospect.
Maryland 93, Central Connecticut 57: The Blue Devils couldn’t do much of anything against the Terrapins tonight. CCSU shot just 35% from the field. Matt Mobley was a bright spot with 24 points (on 18 shots), but he also had seven of the team’s 16 turnovers. Khalen Cumberlander was the only other Blue Devil in double digits with 11 points. Dez Wells played like a star for Maryland, scoring 27 points on 15 shots in 25 minutes. One player worth watching for CCSU is Greg Andrade. The 6’0″ senior guard is getting an opportunity with Kyle Vinales out and played 27 minutes against UMD. That’s more than he played the past two entire seasons combined. Andrade scored seven points on 3-7 shooting. He also grabbed three rebounds and had two steals. CCSU hosts Towson on Friday night, and it should be a good game, but the first obvious chance for victory is probably Nov. 23 against Bethune-Cookman.
American 49, Saint Francis U. 46: Opponents have really focused on taking away Earl Brown in the Red Flash’s first two games. The senior forward, who was named first team all-NEC before the season, was just 1-7 from the field and scored seven points against the Eagles. The Red Flash kept it close though thanks to sophomore guard Malik Harmon. Harmon scored 20 points on 7-11 shooting from the field (including 4-7 from three). He also had four assists and two turnovers. This was a really SLOW game, 55 possessions and Harmon’s offense alone wasn’t enough to wake SFU from their doldrums. Still, 0.84 points per possession is a huge step up from where SFU’s offense was in the Cincinnati game. The Red Flash have two home games against Keystone and University of Maryland-Eastern Shore coming up, so the offense will have a chance to right itself, and hopefully the defense comes with it too. Here’s Ryan Peters’ recap of the game.
Fairleigh Dickinson 102, FDU-Madison 61: The Knights took on their sister school, a Division III institution, and the results were quite predictable. The game was fast-paced (76 possessions) and finished with FDU scoring 1.34 points per possession. FDU shot a ridiculous 15-27 (56%) from three-point range. If you want to take anything worrisome from the game it’s that the Knights committed 17 turnovers, the 22% turnover percentage was nearly double what they had against Saint Joseph’s. It didn’t have to do with the backups playing a bunch either, as every starter except for Darius Stokes had three turnovers apiece. That’s nitpicking though in a game where the Knights thoroughly dominated their opponent. Mustafaa Jones, Matt MacDonald and Darian Anderson each scored 18 points, with Anderson throwing in nine assists as well. Fellow freshman Marques Townes took advantage of his playing time to score 14 points on 6-9 shooting. FDU is now 2-0, but things get tougher on Wednesday night when Greg Herenda’s team takes on Rutgers in a replay of a game the Scarlet Knights would like to forget. Considering RU just lost to George Washington – albeit a talented Atlantic 10 squad – the rematch should be worth watching.
Team of the Night: Fairleigh Dickinson
Player of the Night: Malik Harmon (Saint Francis U.)