Friday night will see a significant NEC battle staged in Brooklyn Height. FDU visits St. Francis Brooklyn with first place, or a share of it, on the line. The visiting Knights are 5-1 in conference. St. Francis Brooklyn, Wagner and Sacred Heart are close behind at 4-2.
The Terriers came from behind to post a 59-53 victory at LIU on Monday evening. LIU entered the game with one win to date. In an intense rivalry of two schools separated by about eight blocks, records are of little significance.
LIU built a nine point second period lead. St. Francis made a late run to close to deficit to two at intermission. NEC rookie of the week Emaia O’Brien proved to be a matchup problem for Linda Comino’s Terriers.
St. Francis struggled on the offensive end, especially the third period. Despite some bumps in the road offensively, the Terriers never lost their poise. In the final period, the visiting Terriers found their shooting touch and turned things around. They outscored the Sharks 22-12 to seal the verdict. Khaleah Edwards, scored a season-high 17 points, six of which came on a pair of late shots beyond the arc. Zharia Hutchinson also posted a season-high 12 points and gave the Terriers a lift when they struggled in the third period.
Edwards led all scorers with 17 points while O’Brien paced LIU with 16. St. Francis struggled from three shooting 3 of 112 for 25%. All three were by Edwards. And they came in a most timely fashion.
Earlier in the day FDU defeated Wagner 73-53 at the Rothman Center in Teaneck, NJ. The host Knights were dominant in a game featuring two ties and no lead changes. Alex Cowan was Wagner’s lone double figure scorer with 11 points. Ang Szumilo’s club showed balance with Aniya Bell and Rachael Niles posting 13 points while Chloe Wilson added 11.
Defense, a staple of the program under Szumilo, was evident as they held Wagner to 33% shooting from the floor-including zero of 8 from three point range. It was the second time in three days FDU took down a first division opponent. On Saturday they defeated Sacred Heart, also at the Rothman Center.
Next up will be the challenge for both clubs. St. Francis is in the midst of a four game win streak. FDU has captured three of their last four.
Friday night lights are not reserved solely for football.
NEC Player of the Week - Kendall Bresee, Mount St.Mary’s. Averaged 23 points, 10 boards in two wins for the Mount.
NEC Rookie of the Week- Emaia O’Brien, LIU. Finished the week averaging 13.5 points per game with the high 16 versus St. Francis Brooklyn.
Ashley Berube, Central Connecticut
Chloe Wilson, FDU
Devyn Scott, FDU
Brandy Thomas, LIU
Mayson Kimball, Merrimack
Michaela Harrison, Mount St. Mary’s
Kahleah Edwards, St. Francis Brooklyn
Jenna Mastellone, St. Francis PA.