NEC Recap January 21 — Two At The Top

Central Connecticut earned its first victory, Mount St. Mary’s and Fairleigh Dickinson separated themselves a little bit from the pack, and there were a number of thrilling finishes on Saturday.

Central Connecticut 84, Saint Francis U. 83 (OT)

The Blue Devils trailed by four points with 12 seconds remaining, but Kevin Seymour and Khalen Cumberlander both knocked down threes to give Donyell Marshall his first NEC victory. Cumberlander’s three gave him 1,000 points in his career. The Blue Devils deserved the victory. They led by 7 late in regulation, but couldn’t hold on to finish the game until the late comeback. Austin Nehls led the Blue Devils with 21 points, Mustafa Jones added 20 and Cumberlander finished with 19.

Jamal King scored 20 points to the Red Flash. SFU allowed 1.12 points per possession. Thus far Rob Krimmel’s team is 4-0 when allowing under 1 point per possession and 0-4 when allowing more than 1. Keith Braxton had another strong game with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Josh Nebo also had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Despite the overtime Krimmel only played six players for at least 10 minutes.

Wagner 67, Sacred Heart 62

In a rematch of the game the Seahawks won by 11 on Staten Island two weeks ago they were once again too tough for the Pioneers. Michael Carey scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Wagner. Mike Aaman scored 11, including 7-10 shooting from the free throw line. Connor Ferrell was also in double figures with 12.

It was the Wagner defense that helped the Seahawks pull out the victory. They allowed SHU to score just 0.98 points per possession. Bashir Mason’s squad was helped by Quincy McKnight’s foul trouble. The focal point of the Pioneers offense battled foul troubled and ultimately fouled out of the game on an offensive foul with 5:42 remaining. Joe Lopez was able to sneak by Seahawks defenders a number of times and finished with 14 points on 6-10 shooting. He also blocked three shots.

Fairleigh Dickinson 83, LIU Brooklyn 66

Darian Anderson scored 25 points and grabbed 9 rebounds as the Knights ended LIU’s 6-game winning streak. This was a battle of 6-1 teams, so it was especially important to come away with the home victory. Even though Stephan Jiggets shot just 1-6 from 3, he helped out in other ways. He scored 14 points, handed out 6 assists and grabbed 5 rebounds. The Knights were still playing without Earl Potts, Jr. He has now missed the last three games, but Greg Herenda’s squad is 3-0 during that stretch.

Jerome Frink scored 20 points and grabbed 10 boards, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with FDU’s impressive offensive performance. Iverson Fleming really struggled, shooting 0-7 from the field and committing 5 turnovers before fouling out in just 23 minutes. Fleming hasn’t cracked an offensive rating above 100 in a game since LIU’s with at Saint Francis U. The Blackbirds need him to be a consistent option in the backcourt to complement Frink and Jashaun Agosto (11 points).

Mount St. Mary’s 55, St. Francis Brooklyn 47

Mount St. Mary’s gritted out an underwhelming, defensive battle in Brooklyn to move to 7-1 in NEC play. The Mount held SFC to just 19-61 (31%) shooting from the field and 0.76 points per possession. Junior Robinson scored 19 points and Elijah Long had 11 points and 10 rebounds, all on the defensive end. A concern moving forward for the Mount may be that they shot just 7-14 from the free throw line, with Chris Wray going 1-5 from the charity stripe. The junior forward also committed 6 of MSM’s 17 turnovers (Robinson had 5).

Glenn Sanabria had another tough shooting day. Sanabria is obviously a bit banged up, and he’s also really struggling being the focus of every team’s scouting report. He has shot 2-19 on 2s and 4-18 on 3s in his past three games. He finished with 8 points. St. Francis was led by freshman Rasheem Dunn, who scored 12 points on 5-11 shooting. Dunn also grabbed 9 rebounds. Freshman Gianni Ford received some extended playing time (20 minutes) and scored 7 points on 3-7 shooting. It seems like Ford is going to get some more minutes as NEC play goes on and his development—along with that of the front court—is a huge key for SFC’s 2017-18 season.

Bryant 59, Robert Morris 56

RMU led by 6 points with 9:27 to play, but couldn’t hold on for the home victory. The game was much more in the Colonials’ style, as both teams struggled to score the ball. Bryant won while scoring just 0.83 points per possession. The Bulldogs were led by Marcel Pettway, who scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Nisre Zouzoua and Sebastian Townes each scored 11 points for Bryant.

The Colonials committed 19 turnovers, including 6 by Kavon Stewart and 5 by Dachon Burke. Burke led RMU with 16 points, while Stewart added 13. Isaiah Still was just 2-11 from the field and scored 9 points. It was the fourth time in NEC play (all losses) where the Colonials have failed to score at least 0.80 points per possession. Even with a strong defense, it’s hard to win games with that level of offense.

NEC Team of the Day

Fairleigh Dickinson – The Knights’ 16-point victory over LIU Brooklyn keeps them in a tight race with Mount St. Mary’s for the NEC crown, despite being without Earl Pott, Jr. for the past three games.

NEC Player of the Day

Khalen Cumberlander – Even though he was third on the team in scoring today for CCSU his clutch three near the end of overtime proved to be the difference. The senior has endured some rough seasons at Central Connecticut and it was great that he could score his 1,000th point as the same time as earning a much needed victory for the Blue Devils.

NEC Standings

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

Next on the Schedule

  • Central Connecticut vs. Bryant (1/25)
  • Mount St. Mary’s vs. Robert Morris (1/26)
  • Wagner vs. Saint Francis U. (1/26)
  • Sacred Heart vs. LIU Brooklyn (1/26)
  • St. Francis Brooklyn vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (1/26)

2 thoughts on “NEC Recap January 21 — Two At The Top

  1. Frank Ulrich

    FDU had an impressive offensive performance but the real gem here is their defensive effort which has been a struggle for some time. Look for FDU to continue to strengthen and benefit from a brutal non conference schedule.

  2. FDU40

    The Key to the improved FDU Defense is the improved Front Court Defense of Hollway,Bishop, and Miller. Holding LIU to only 4 points in the paint in the first half is outstanding. Also the guards have increased their steals in the last few games. It is some turn around considering a few games ago FDU was giving up 50 points in a half.

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