NEC MBB Week In Review: Week 3

Monday

NJIT 66 Fairleigh Dickinson 63: FDU went down 14 points at the half but stormed back with a big second half and tied the game at 60 with 1:21 to go. NJIT went out on a 6-0 run to seal the win before a meaningless Lonnie Robinson 3 goes to provide for the final score. Kinu Rochford lead the way for the Knights with 14 points and 7 rebounds. Melquan Bolding shot 4 of 10 for 13 points. Ryan Woods had 20 for visiting NJIT. NJIT shot 58% (10-17) from three.

Quinnipiac 64 Hampton 70: Quinnipiac dropped their third straight and five of their last six. The Bobcats once again were plagued by poor shooting as the team shot 36% from the field. Ike Azotam registered a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Shaq Shannon scored 11 for the Bobcats. Quinnipiac only allowed Hampton to shot 34% but let Hampton go to the free throw line 34 times compared to the 19 trips they made.

Thursday

Quinnipiac 75 St. Francis (PA) 66 (OT): SFU came back from 6 points down in final 2:20 to send the game into OT on a pair of Stephon Mosley free throws. The Bobcats outscored SFU 16-7 in the overtime period. Neither team shot above 37% from the field or scored 1.0 points per possession (ppp). Ike Azotam led QU with a double-double 22 points & 10 rebounds. Zaid Hearst also had a double-double for QU, 13 points & 10 rebounds. SFU’s Earl Brown got his 6th-straight double-double with 14 points & 18 rebounds.

Monmouth 71 St. Francis Brooklyn 67: In what you would have to call a surprising upset, Monmouth beat SFC on the road. Monmouth held SFC to 35% shooting and 0.88 ppp. Monmouth shot 50% from the field. Monmouth outrebounded SFC 41-34 even though SFC were +6 in offensive rebounds. SFC were a terrible 11-21 shooting free throws. Monmouth’s Jesse Steele had a season-high 20 points. SFC got 15 points from Ben Mockford. SFC’s Jalen Cannon missed part of the game attending to a gash above his eye he got in the game.

Sacred Heart 62 Robert Morris 66: RMU were without Velton Jones and Karvel Anderson yet they still got enough to beat Sacred Heart at home. Four RMU finished in double figures led by 15 points each for Lucky Jones and Mike McFadden. SHU’s Shane Gibson who is getting back to get old effective ways, scored 27 points on just 13 shots. SHU committed 21 turnovers to RMU’s 11 and RMU were a +12 in free throw attempts.

LIU Brooklyn 79 Fairleigh Dickinson 75 (OT): This was a wild game with a dramatic final 30 seconds of the second-half. Here is my game recap.

Wagner 66 Central Connecticut State 73: CCSU held Wagner to under 40% shooting while shooting 51% themselves. CCSU had four players in double figures. Kyle Vinales finished with 30 points. Wagner had three players in double figures with Kenneth Ortiz leading them with 18 points. Jonathon Williams returned to the Seahawks’ lineup to score six.

Mount St. Mary’s 78 Bryant 79 (OT): The Mount nearly pulled off the major upset on the road. The Mount got a three from Shivaughn Wiggins with :16 to play to send the game to overtime. Bryant got a layup from light-scoring Shane McLaughlin with six seconds left to escape with the win. McLaughlin layup were his only two points of the game. Alex Francis finished with 25 points for the Bryant. Dyami Starks scored 18 as five Bryant players finished in double figures. MSM got 20 points from Wiggins, 17 from Rashad Whack and 16 from Sam Prescott.

Saturday

Sacred Heart 75 St. Francis (PA) 72: Sacred Heart got back in the win column thanks to 23 points from Shane Gibson on 17 shots. Earl Brown collected his seventh-straight double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds for SFU. Freshman Ben Millaud-Meunier had a career-high 20 points on 12 shots. SHU finishes the week 1-1 and improve to 4-2 in the NEC while SFU go 0-2 for the week and drop their fifth straight game.

Mount St. Mary’s 80 Central Connecticut State 75: The Mount who nearly beat Bryant on Thursday, breakthrough against CCSU thanks to 18 points a piece from Julian Norfleet and Xavier Owens. Five players finished in double figures for MSM who end a three-game losing streak in the process. CCSU got 26 points from Matt Hunter, 20 from Kyle Vinales and 6 points, 11 rebounds from freshman Brandon Peel but it wasn’t enough. CCSU had 17 turnovers while MSM went to the free throw line 22 times to CCSU’s eight. Both team split the week at 1-1.

Wagner 59 Bryant 82: In what was the most-anticipated game of the week turned out to be a laugher for Bryant. Bryant shot 56% and scored 1.15 ppp. Balanced scoring led the way from the Bulldogs as five players scored in double digits led by Dyami Starks’ 17 points. Wagner got 17 points from Jonathon Williams in his second game back from his hip injury. Freshman Eric Fanning had 13 points off the bench. Wagner offense was awful, scoring 0.80 ppp and shooting a brutal 33% from the field. Wagner went 0-2 on their Connecticut road trip while Bryant remains perfect at 6-0. Wagner has now lost three straight.

Fairleigh Dickinson 51 St. Francis Brooklyn 70: SFC put the Thursday loss to Monmouth behind them and used tremendous defense to take down FDU. FDU only had 59 possessions in this game and scored just 0.87 ppp. They also were held to 34% field goal shooting. SFC got  a double-double (14 pts, 10 rebs) from Jalen Cannon as well as 15 points, 7 rebs from Travis Nichols, the NEC version of the “microwave” Vinnie Johnson from the late 80s Detroit Pistons teams. FDU got 12 points from Melquan Bolding and 10 from Sidney Sanders Jr. FDU went 0-16 from three in the game. SFC split the week at 1-1 while FDU take two tough losses from the week and have lost three straight and five of six.

Monmouth 65 LIU Brooklyn 75: LIU Brooklyn came back from a six-point halftime deficit using a big second half on both ends to beat Monmouth at home. Here is my recap of the game. LIU got a big 2-0 week while Monmouth got a 1-1 split on their Brooklyn road trip.

Quinnipiac 75 Robert Morris 87: In a surprisingly offense-heavy game, RMU got the better of Quinnipiac. RMU got a season-high 22 points from Russell Johnson and 18 points from Lucky Jones to take down the Bobcats. RMU shot 56% from the floor and 1.287 ppp on offense. QU wasn’t bad themselves offensively with 56% shooting and 1.11 ppp. QU got 16 from Zaid Hearst and 13 each from Evan Conti and Ousmane Drame. It was a 2-0 week from RMU who have now won four straight after their 0-2 start. QU went 1-1 for the week and have lost three of their last four games.

After three weeks of play in the NEC, here are the up-to-date NEC standings courtesy of NortheastConference.org.

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Coming up in week four of the NEC slate, there are several notable games to watch out for. On Thursday, Sacred Heart hosts Bryant and it is a big opportunity for SHU to cut into this two-game NEC lead Bryant currently holds. Quinnipiac hosts CCSU in a interesting game in which QU needs to have to not fall any further behind in terms of now getting a NEC playoff spot. Also, the 38th annual Battle of Brooklyn game will be played at the Pope Center with St. Francis Brooklyn hosting LIU Brooklyn. I’ll have more on that game later this week. On Saturday, the notable games include SFC heading to CCSU, LIU Brooklyn heading to Rhode Island for a big road test vs Bryant, as well as an interesting one in Mount St. Mary’s at Robert Morris.

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