Lady Terriers beat Blackbirds as St. Francis sweeps basketball’s Battle of Brooklyn
St. Francis Brooklyn made a major statement last week when it swept the Battle of Brooklyn. The men’s team beat LIU Brooklyn at home on Thursday before the women’s team won in dominating fashion 69-48 at the Barclays Center on Saturday afternoon.
“When we come here normally (to watch the Nets) we’re three rows from the back where you can barely see the court,” Lady Terriers guard Eilidh Simpson said of playing at the Barclays Center. “To actually step out on to the court and to look up to the seats it was really cool. You are nervous to start the game, but as soon as the game starts you forget about where you are playing and who is watching you.”
It was a one-sided game the entire way, with the Terriers shooting 54.2 percent to the Blackbirds’ 31.0 percent. The Terriers had an 11-point lead at halftime and cruised from there. Simpson led the Terriers with 17 points, Leah Fechko had 12 points and nine different players contributed with points, making good use of their depth.
For the Blackbirds, Cleandra Roberts led with 27 points and six rebounds. Roberts’ big game was the one thing that really seemed to bother St. Francis coach John Thurston. “We stopped her from being an All-NEC player and she became an All-American player. She was outstanding today for LIU.”
Unlike the men, beating LIU Brooklyn is nothing new for the Lady Terriers. The win improved their Northeast Conference record to 3-0, the first time in the school’s history that they have gotten off to such a start. That strong start in conference play was much more significant than beating their hometown rivals. After the game, Thurston tried to downplay their early record as he has bigger goals in mind.
“All it means is that we’re 3-0,” Thurston said. “It has no bearing on the next game. I always say after every game that we don’t have to play this one anymore. It’s nice, but it only lasts until the end of today. Tomorrow we have to wake up with the mindset that we’re 0-0. Our team hasn’t gotten carried away with the record, they just play.”
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