St. Francis men’s basketball takes step back in loss to Delaware State
After a 0-5 start to its season, the St. Francis men’s basketball team seemingly took a big step forward by winning three of its four following games. However, after the 72-64 loss to Delaware State on Wednesday, coach Glenn Braica said the team has taken a step back.
“No, honestly, no,” Braica said when asked if his team has improved since the start of the season. “I thought we were, but we took a step back today. We’ll fix it. We’ll get after it and fix it, but this was disappointing. We just have to get better every day. We’ll get there.”
While the team’s star Jalen Cannon said the Terriers have gotten better in some areas, he agreed with his coach’s overall assessment and said it is partially his responsibility to see that they turn things around.
“We kind of took a step back [tonight],” Cannon said. “We came out with no energy and they punched us first. We couldn’t get back into the game and didn’t start cutting into the lead in time.”
There was one player mostly responsible for St. Francis’ inability to comeback — Amere May, who dominated throughout the game and scored 48 points.
“I’ve seen guys have games like that maybe in an AAU tournament [in high school], but never at this level,” Cannon said. “That kid is a tough kid. He had a hot hand and hit shots tonight. It was a little bit frustrating. As a senior, I have to be more of a leader to get the guys to come together, play hard, and stop that kind of attack.”
May was feeling good right away as he scored nine points in the first 11 minutes to build up an early 21-12 lead. Delaware State had a 10 point lead by halftime after May shot 4-for-6 from behind the arc.
The lead increased to 14 points by the time St. Francis finally started to catch up. Freshman Glenn Sanabria, from Staten Island, chipped in with a couple of big threes and played strong defense to help get the Terriers to within four points with 1:44 left to play.
“He’s going to be a really good player here,” Cannon said of Sanabria. “He’s still young and learning, but you can already start seeing it now. I told him that he’s just going to have to keep improving and wait his turn.”
Unfortunately, the team could not figure out how to stop May, and he scored 26 points in the second half, including 12 in the final two minutes of the game.
“We tried to do whatever we could to stop him,” Cannon said. “Mainly we were trying to deny him the ball, but he kept doing this dribble weave and he would get it back. He kept going off of that.”
The Terriers are now 3-7 overall this season and have lost two out of their last three. They play three more games, including two at home, before starting the Northeast Conference portion of their schedule against Sacred Heart University on Jan. 3rd.
“Last year we won a lot of close games in the beginning of the year and then towards the end we started losing those close games,” Cannon said. “Hopefully it is the opposite this year. We’re learning from it and we’re trying to improve.”
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