This weekend in NEC men’s basketball only proved that at any game, at any time and at any place, any team can be beat. The wackiness that is this season continued on with some several unlikely results. But then again, there is nothing much “likely” about this season. Let’s take a look at the another crazy week that was in the NEC.
Mount St. Mary’s 77 Quinnipiac 73: The Mount were outrebounded by 24 and only shot 38% in the game but come out of it with the win. That is thanks in part to only committing five turnovers in the game while Quinnipiac committed 19 of them. Also, Quinnipiac missed half their free throws. Four Mount players finished in double figures with Shivaughn Wiggins leading the way with 17 points. Quinnipiac also had four players finish in double digits with Ousmane Drame scoring 19 points and grabbing 20 rebounds.
Wagner 84 Sacred Heart 78: Wagner blew a six point lead with :48 left which sent the game into overtime. Wagner’s 8-2 run to begin OT clinched the game. Kenneth Ortiz led the Seahawks with 17 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds. Jonathon Williams finished with 16, Latif Rivers scored 14. Sacred Heart got 22 points from Shane Gibson and 15 points from Steve Glowiak. Phil Gaetano got his first double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 assists. Wagner scored 1.02 ppp while holding SHU to 0.96 ppp and 39% FG shooting.
St. Francis Brooklyn 71 Robert Morris 61: RMU’s Velton Jones hurt his shoulder 90 seconds into the game and SFC capitalized. SFC offense was working with a 1.14 ppp and their defense played solidly holding RMU to 0.97 ppp. SFC were led by Jalen Cannon and Brent Jones with 16 points each and 14 points from Ben Mockford. RMU were led by both Karvel Anderson and Anthony Myers-Pate with 14 points apiece. Russell Johnson grabbed 15 boards in the loss. The loss snapped RMU six-game winning streak.
Central Connecticut St. 78 Monmouth 58: Poor shooting by the Hawks led to their demise. Monmouth shot 37% from the floor and scored just 0.81 ppp in the loss. CCSU got 24 points from Kyle Vinales and 21 points from Adonis Burbage in the win. Monmonth got 16 points from Marcus Ware. Monmouth were just 4 of 15 from the beyond the arc.
Bryant 78 Fairleigh Dickinson 63: Bryant got back on track with a convincing win at FDU. The Bulldogs only shot 43% but scored 1.07 ppp thanks to a +13 rebounding margin and hitting 19 of 25 free throws. Bryant got 27 points and 9 rebounds from Alex Francis as four Bulldogs scored in double figures. Mathias Seilund led FDU with 16 points as FDU was outrebounded by 13. FDU committed 23 fouls in this game leading to 25 Bryant free throws.
LIU Brooklyn 82 Saint Francis U. 62: Good offense and defense by LIU lead to an easy 20 point win. The 0.82 ppp allowed with the second-best ppp allowed by the Blackbirds this season. Here is the game recap.
Robert Morris 60 LIU Brooklyn 57: It was a tough battle throughout. It was, of course ,no other than Velton Jones and his one good arm who got some measure of revenge for the last two NEC championship losses, hitting a typical Jones floater with :11 left for the go-ahead basket. Here is the game recap.
Mount St. Mary’s 91 Sacred Heart 82: SHU allowed 50 first half points and were down 23 at halftime. SHU did score 55 points second half but it wasn’t enough to get back in the game. Rashad Whack scored a career-high 35 points on just 16 shots for MSM. Louis Montes scored 21 and Shane Gibson scored 18 for the visiting Pioneers. MSM shot 50% from three, hitting 13 of 26 treys. SHU went 0-2 this week while MSM got two much-needed home wins to get to 4-6.
Quinnipiac 74 Wagner 69: Quinnipiac got a big win on the road. This game was barely a contest as QU were up 12 at half and up 17 in the second half. Five players scored in double figures for the Bobcats including Ike Aztoam’s 15 points and Ousmane Drame 13 points and 10 rebounds for his second straight double-double. For Wagner, Latif Rivers scored a season-high 29 points and Kenneth Ortiz scored 19 in the loss. QU splits the week on the road and is now 5-5 while Wagner splits the week at home and is now 6-4.
Saint Francis U. 64 St. Francis Brooklyn 61: In probably the biggest upset of the week, SFC loses at home to one-win SFU two days after beating RMU. SFU shot 54% while keeping SFC to 37% shooting and 2 for 21 from three. SFC also missed 10 free throws. SFU were led by Earl Brown with 19 points and 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. SFC’s Jalen Cannon also finished with a double-double 20 points and 12 rebounds, his tenth double-double. Both teams split the week at 1-1.
Central Connecticut St. 80 Fairleigh Dickinson 71: CCSU keep the offense flowing and didn’t get a whole lot from Kyle Vinales. Vinales scored 7 points in 20 minutes, both season-lows. CCSU got 24 points from Adonis Burbage and 16 from Matt Hunter. FDU got a career game from Yves Jules who was 12 of 16 for 34 points. Unfortunately for FDU, no one else finished in double digits. CCSU is now on a three-game winning streak and is 6-4 in the NEC. FDU has now dropped seven straight and nine of their last ten.
Bryant 77 Monmouth 62: Bryant rebounded well this week getting two much-needed road wins to stay in front of the pack in the NEC. The Bulldogs got 27 points from Frankie Dobbs and 15 and 11 from Alex Francis in the win. Monmouth, who only shot 34% in the game, got 27 points from Jesse Steele but got no one else to finished in double digits. Monmouth drop both games at home this week and are now on a three-game losing streak to fall to 3-7.
After five weeks of play in the NEC, here is the up-to-date NEC standings courtesy of northeastconference.org:
The games to keep your eyes on in week six starting with a Wednesday tilt, Mount St. Mary’s @ Wagner – which MSM and Wagner team will show up? The best Thursday games are: St. Francis Brooklyn @ Bryant – SFC needs to get a big road to make up for the loss to SFU this week. LIU Brooklyn @ CCSU – LIU after a tough loss to RMU have to take on a hot CCSU on the road. Saturday features three key games: Sacred Heart @ Bryant – this is a big game for SHU, a loss to Bryant will all but end a chance at a 1 seed. Quinnipiac @ CCSU – their last NEC meeting could help decide who will get into the NEC tourney and who is out looking in. Wagner @ Robert Morris – this game will show if Wagner is a NEC contender or pretender. On Sunday, St. Francis Brooklyn take on LIU Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, both teams might really need this win come Sunday so expect a tough battle in this one.