NEC MBB Week in Review: Week One
Conference play is finally upon us. As predicted, it was a crazy and unpredictable first week of action in the Northeast Conference. You had a winless team win, a team who looked terrible in non-ceonference play win two, you had a team who looked great in non-conference play lose two, you had a team without three of their top scorers going and expectedly lose two, and possibly a new team coming from the ashes of the last several season making their rise to dominance in the NEC. Let’s recap the this first week in the NEC.
FDU 72 Mount St. Mary’s 65: We begin with Fairleigh Dickinson taking on Mount St. Mary’s. FDU got a solid performance from Melquan Bolding (19 points). Kinu Rochford got his third straight double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds) and sixth overall. Lonnie Robinson also added 10 points for the Knights. Kristijan Krajina scored 16 points for the Mount in the loss. FDU shot 53% in the game to the Mount’s 42%. The Mount only on 4 of 28 three-point attempts.
Monmouth 56 Wagner 60: Wagner used solid defense once again to stave off Monmouth in Staten Island. Wagner got four players score in double-figures including 15 points off the bench for Marcus Burton. Mario Moody chipped in with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Monmouth got 21 points from Andrew Nicholas and 12 points from Jesse Steele on 15 shots. Neither team scored above a point per possession as Monmouth was held to 37% shooting while Wagner shot just 43%
St. Francis Brooklyn 63 Quinnipiac 61: In what entered as a solid matchup turned to be one as SFC escaped with 2-point win thanks to a Brent Jones layup with nine seconds remaining. Quinnipiac had a couple of chances to tie and even win it when Dave Johnson missed a layup and Evan Conti’s three didn’t go. SFC got another solid game off the bench from veteran Travis Nichols (15 points). NEC Player of the Year candidate Jalen Cannon knocked in 14 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Three Bobcats finished in double-digits including a double-double from guard Zaid Hearst (13 points, 12 rebounds). Jamee Jackson barely misses a double-double himself with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Both teams shot under 40% for the game. Quinnipiac had a amazing +21 rebound advantage.
Central Connecticut State 60 St. Francis PA 67: In the biggest shocker of the night, SFPA pulled off the upset at home to get their first win of the season after an 0-11 start. The Red Flash got 19 points from Umar Shannon but the story was sophomore forward Earl Brown who scored 16 points and grabbed 25 rebounds. Brown became the third NEC player in the last two seasons to grab at least 20 rebounds (LIU’s Julian Boyd (20) & SFC’s Jalen Cannon (20) in ’11-’12) in a game. Kyle Vinales scored 23 for CCSU on 22 shots. Matt Hunter got himself a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. The Red Flash held CCSU to just 31% shooting and were a +10 in terms of rebounding. It wasn’t a pretty offensive game as neither team went over a point per possession in this one as well.
LIU Brooklyn 73 Sacred Heart 77: LIU Brooklyn played the first of two games without three suspended player. SHU got a career game from junior forward Louis Montes (35 points and 8 rebounds) to withstand a hard-charging eight-man LIU Brooklyn squad. Here is my recap.
Bryant 84 Robert Morris 77: In the NEC game of the night, Bryant showed that their non-conference play was no fluke beating RMU on the road. The Bulldogs got 29 points from Dyami Starks and 26 points from Frankie Dobbs. Alex Francis put in 18 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. RMU got 24 points from senior Velton Jones and 13 points each from Karvel Anderson and Lucky Jones. RMU held Bryant to just 42% shooting but the Bulldogs shot 53% from three (13 for 25). RMU committed 27 fouls compared to 15 for Bryant. Also, a RMU got a light crowd for the NEC home opener with only 478 fans attending.
LIU Brooklyn 74 Quinnipiac 82: Quinnipiac used a +14 rebounding advantage and 50% shooting to outlast a pesky 8-man LIU Brooklyn team. Jason Brickman with his 9 assists passed Jaytornah Wisseh for second all-time on the LIU Brooklyn all-time assist list with 545 assists. He is now eighth on the NEC all-time assist list. Here is my game recap.
St. Francis Brooklyn 65 Sacred Heart 66: Shane Gibson came through in the clutch with a layup and a pair of game-winning free throws to give Sacred Heart a pair of much-needed wins for the week. Gibson returned to familiar form with 28 points on 17 shots. Justin Swidowski had his best game since the season opener vs Yale with 14 points off the bench. Louis Montes was held to just 5 points. SFC wasted a great game from Jalen Cannon with 20 points and 16 rebounds. Akeem Johnson poured in 17 points for the Terriers.
Bryant 78 St. Francis (PA) 58: Bryant took care of business against SFPA. Bryant got 21 from Alex Francis and 18 from Dyami Starks. The Bulldogs shot 54% from the field. SFPA got 13 points from Umar Shannon. SFPA were held to just 38% from the field. Bryant is now 2-0 in the NEC for the first time ever.
Fairleigh Dickinson 55 Wagner 68: Wagner moved to 2-0 in the NEC. The Seahawks got 22 points from Kenneth Ortiz on 11 shots. Mario Moody got his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Orlando Parker grabbed 11 rebounds for Wagner. FDU got a fourth-straight double-double from Kinu Rochford (16 points, 16 rebounds) who is just on a tear of late. He now had seven double-doubles in ten games. Lonnie Robinson scored 15 points for FDU. Wagner held FDU to only 29% shooting were a +13 in rebound margin.
Monmouth 59 Mount St. Mary’s 71: The Mount got a nice bounce-back win at home. They got a balanced scoring attack with four players in double-figures led by 15 points each from Kristijan Krajina and Sam Prescott. Monmouth got 19 points from Andrew Nicholas on 19 shots. Stephen Spinella scored 12. Monmouth was only able to shot 38% from the floor were able to produce 0.79 points per possession. Monmouth has gone the last seven games without going over a point per possession on offense. Monmouth falls to 0-2 with loss, the Mount is now 1-1.
Central Connecticut State 77 Robert Morris 70: Robert Morris falls to 0-2 in the NEC for the first since the 2006-07 season. Major concern is that both these games were at home. CCSU got 34 points on 22 shots from Kyle Vinales. RMU got 22 points from Velton Jones and 15 from Karvel Anderson. CCSU shot 48% from the floor. For the third-straight game, RMU has given up over a point per possession, this from a team who hangs their hat on the defense.
After two games, here is what the Northeast Conference Standing look like courtesy of ESPN.com:
Wagner at the top is easy to understand. Bryant is making noise and look like a team to be reckoned with this season. Sacred Heart is the surprise at 2-0 after their 2-9 start. Robert Morris and LIU Brooklyn find themselves in the bottom tier at 0-2. At least LIU Brooklyn has an excuse and have three of the next four at home while RMU has their next two on the road. As I said before, this is going to be one heck of a wild and crazy season in the NEC.
Posted on January 6, 2013, in News and Notes and tagged Bryant, CCSU, FDU, LIU Brooklyn, Monmouth, Mount St. Mary's, NEC, Quinnipiac, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis (PA), St. Francis Brooklyn, Wagner. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.