Fairleigh Dickinson managed to sneak past Bryant, which means everyone in the NEC is still chasing the undefeated Knights four games in. It didn’t stop two other teams from grabbing key road victories.
Fairleigh Dickinson 87, Bryant 84
Nisre Zouzoua had a chance to tie the game on the final possession, but Fairleigh Dickinson held on for the 3-point victory after building a 22-point halftime lead. Zouzoua scored 22 points in the loss. Marcel Pettway added 21 and Bosko Kostur had 17 as the Bulldogs were able to shoot 21-37 (57%) inside the arc.
What kept the Knights undefeated in NEC play was the play of Stephan Jiggets. He scored 20 points to lead FDU and also haded out six assists. Earl Potts Jr. also looks to rounding into form, as he had 19 points. In all FDU had five players score in double-figures as they scored 1.25 points per possession to move to 4-0 in NEC play. The defense is certainly a concern—FDU has allowed 1.09 and 1.21 points per possession the last two times out, but the offense is excellent and bailing them out.
Mount St. Mary’s 77, Central Connecticut 68
The Mount captured its first not-that-close NEC game over the struggling Blue Devils Detrick Gymnasium on Saturday. MSM is now 3-1 and hosts Fairleigh Dickinson in a key early-season NEC showdown on Thursday. Freshman Miles Wilson had another outstanding game with 21 points on 8-12 shooting from the field. Chris Wray scored 13 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, had 5 assists and also blocked 4 shots. That sort of versatility is the best case scenario for what the 6-foot-8 junior can give Jamion Christian this season.
CCSU played just seven players in the contest, and Kevin Seymour played just three minutes. Every Blue Devil besides Khalen Cumberlander and Seymour had at least four fouls. Cumberlander scored 26 points thanks to 12-18 shooting inside the arc.
LIU Brooklyn 83, Saint Francis U. 70
LIU seems to be rounding into form at exactly the right moment as the Blackbirds swept the western Pennsylvania swing with a 13-point victory in Loretto. Even against a bigger frontline Jerome Frink was absolutely dominant. He scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Raiquan Clark and Nura Zanna each grabbed six offensive rebounds apiece by crashing the glass after the attention was drawn to Frink. Zanna finished with 10 points and 13 board, while Clark had 10 points and 7 rebounds.
The Blackbirds also received some clutch 3-point shooting from freshmen guards Julian Batts (3-5, 9 points) and Jashaun Agosto (2-4, 8 points). LIU’s KenPom rating continues to climb and is now at a season-high 246. The Blackbirds are 15th nationally in offensive rebounding at 37% and are grabbing a ridiculous 46% of their misses in NEC play.
Isaiah Blackmon led the Red Flash with 19 points. Keith Braxton scored 12 points on 4-11 shooting from the field. The defense, which had helped SFU win two straight, is a definite problem, but not many NEC teams have the size of LIU.
Robert Morris 62, St. Francis Brooklyn 58
RMU held off the SFC to grab a much needed victory at the Sewall Center. Kavon Stewart returned from a 1-game suspension, but he shot just 2-8 from the field and scored 7 points in 32 minutes. But his counterpart on the other side, Yunus Hopkinson, scored only 4 points in 19 minutes.
Glenn Sanabria led the Terriers with 20 points even though he was 0-6 inside the arc. Rasheem Dunn scored 13 points, but only shot 4-10 from the field. Overall SFC scored 0.94 points per possession.
RMU was led by Isaiah Still, who scored 23 points. The sophomore is basically the Colonials’ only scoring option right now. They shot just 1-6 from beyond the arc and 19-30 from the free throw line to keep SFC in the game. Andy Toole’s team is now 2-2 with a key matchup coming up on Thursday against Saint Francis U.
Wagner 75, Sacred Heart 64
The Pioneers scored just 0.90 points per possession as stifling defense helped Wagner even its NEC record. Corey Henson had an strong all-around game with 24 points (including a perfect 5-5 inside the arc), 6 rebounds and 7 assists. He also had just one turnover. Michael Carey is also being more assertive and he scored 21 points, including 7-7 from the free throw line. Those two stars scoring at a high rate should help the Seahawks, but they also got some help from Connor Ferrell (11 points) and Mike Aaman (10 points and 8 rebounds).
Sacred Heart struggled offensively. The Pioneers were unable to get to the free throw line (just 11 attempts), committed 15 turnovers and had an effective field goal percentage of just 48%. Matej Buovac scored 15 points and De’von Barnett had 14. Joe Lopez was held to just 6 points on 3-8 shooting in 25 minutes. Charles Tucker had 6 assists, but also 4 turnovers. Quincy McKnight had 12 points and 5 assists, but also 5 turnovers. McKnight is using the most possessions in NEC play while on the court at 34%, but his offensive rating is just 77.4. He either needs to start deferring to teammates or figure out a way to score more efficienctly otherwise SHU is in big trouble.
NEC Player of the Day
Corey Henson – The junior guard scored 24 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and had 7 assists in 38 minutes as the Seahawks evened their NEC record.
1. Fairleigh Dickinson 4-0
2. Mount St. Mary’s 3-1
3. LIU Brooklyn 3-1
4. Wagner 2-2
5. Robert Morris 2-2
6. Saint Francis U. 2-2
7. St. Francis Brooklyn 2-2
8. Bryant 1-3
9. Sacred Heart 1-3
10. Bryant 0-4
Next On the NEC Schedule (1/12)
Saint Francis U. at Robert Morris 6 pm
Fairleigh Dickinson at Mount St. Mary’s 7 pm
Central Connecticut at LIU Brooklyn 7 pm
Wagner at Bryant 7 pm
Sacred Heart at St. Francis Brooklyn 7 pm