A young St. Francis Brooklyn team is learning how to win. After falling to Manhattan in overtime on Wednesday the Terriers came back home to Brooklyn Heights and held on for a 77-74 victory over Brown on Saturday afternoon.
The Terriers led by as many as 10 points in the second half, but let that lead slip away. In fact, the Bears took a brief one-point lead on a three-pointer by Brandon Anderson with 3:13 remaining, but Rasheem Dunn quickly answered with a two free throws to give SFC the lead for good.
“We’ve got to learn to play in games like this,” said St. Francis Brooklyn head coach Glenn Braica. “There’s a lot of things you can’t really simulate in practice.”
But just because St. Francis closed out the win doesn’t mean things weren’t a bit fraught. After freshman Jalen Jordan knocked down his sixth three of the game from the left wing with 1:27 left, it looked like the Terriers had built up enough of a cushion, but Glenn Sanabria went 2-6 from the foul line down the stretch to give Brown a chance to win or tie the game in the final seconds. But Anderson’s final shot was wide and the Terriers prevailed.
Here are three thoughts from the game.
1. Jalen Jordan looks like the real deal. Three games into his career Jordan is already showing a ton of promise. He still makes some freshmen mistakes, including four turnovers with some at inopportune times, but he also has an excellent shot from long-range and the ability to put the ball on the floor. He shot 6-11 from 3 on Saturday and scored 22 points in 37 minutes.
The shooting of Jordan and Josh Nicholas can help open up the offense for Dunn. The sophomore, who was one the best freshmen in the NEC a season ago, is strong going to the basket and the more lanes that open up for him to drive down the more success he’ll have in the paint and at the free throw line. Dunn led the Terriers with 23 points in 33 minutes in Saturday. He also had six assists, six rebounds and four turnovers in a solid all-around game.
“We were a really poor shooting team a year ago,” Braica said. “Even when we were good we weren’t a great shooting team, but those kids were experienced. They were tough. They knew how to win. Last year we had a bad combination of a lack of skill and new guys.”
2. Darelle Porter seems to be coming into his own. Porter has a high-arcing shot, which can be deceiving at times, but he shot 5-10 from the field and scored 11 points. He also grabbed 10 rebounds. In the two games this week Porter provided excellent energy off the bench. It seems to be a role that he’s comfortable in. If he can hold down the fort rebounding and on defense for the Terriers up front his offense is just an added bonus.
“He gives us another guy who can score, make a shot,” Braica said about Porter. “He’s a veteran now. So he’s got some experienced. On this team he’s got a lot of experience.”
3. St. Francis contained Brandon Anderson, for a half. Anderson has taken over the mantle of Brown’s go-to guy after the graduation of Steven Spieth. Anderson’s usage has ballooned from 21.1 percent of possessions as a freshman to more than a third through three games. But the sophomore is still feeling his way through being number one on an opponent’s scouting report. In the first half Braica sent a lot of pressure at Anderson. Glenn Sanabria and Chauncey Hawkins took turns harassing him at times. Anderson went just 2-5 from the field in the first half with almost as many points (7) as turnovers (6).
The second half was a different story. With Sanabria in a bit of foul trouble, and Braica going with a more offensive oriented lineup, Anderson settled into a groove. He knocked down 2-3 from beyond the arc and got by defenders and to the free throw line. He finished with 21 points on 6-12 shooting from the field along with eight turnovers and three assists. How Anderson adapts to the lead guard role will play a big role in how much noise the Bears can make in the Ivy League.