SFC Terriers take a bite out of LIU Sharks
Cosic earns MVP honors in 45th annual Battle of Brooklyn
Freshman Rob Higgins scored all 19 of his points in the second half and senior Milija Cosic added a career-high 18 points off the bench to lead St. Francis Brooklyn to an 87-77 victory over Long Island University Tuesday night in the 45th annual Battle of Brooklyn at the Steinberg Center.
Higgins, who was held off the scoresheet in the opening half as the Terriers fell behind 41-38 to their Downtown rivals, hit 4-of-9 shots after intermission and buried 10-of-11 free throws to spark St. Francis’ second-half surge.
Cosic entered game averaging just under four points per contest, but found his groove when it mattered most for SFC, going 7-of-10 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, to earn Battle of Brooklyn MVP honors.
With the win, the Terriers (12-14, 6-8 NEC) climbed into a three-way tie for the final remaining spots in the Northeast Conference Tournament race, and moved within a game of LIU (12-15, 7-7) for fifth place in the league standings with four regular-season contests remaining.
The Terriers also avenged a 69-66 home loss to the Sharks on Jan. 15 in which they squandered a 10-point lead.
Grad student guard Unique McLean added 14 points and junior Chauncey Hawkins added 13 for the Terriers, who will try to bolster their playoff position Friday night against visiting Bryant (5-9 NEC) at Remsen Street’s Pope Center.
Sophomore sensation Jermaine Jackson Jr., poured in a season-high 30 points and redshirt senior Raiquan Clark added 17 for LIU, which lost its second straight.
The Sharks will visit Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday in Teaneck, N.J.
The SFC women’s team enjoyed similar success at the Wellness Center on Saturday afternoon, running away for a 71-54 win over the Sharks behind 13 points and 13 rebounds from junior Abby Anderson.
Freshman standout Nevena Dimitrijevic added 14 points and nine assists and fellow first-year guard Alyssa Fisher also had 14 points for the Terriers (7-17, 3-10 NEC), who moved within two games of the Sharks (6-18, 5-8) for the eighth and final NEC Tournament spot.
The Terriers will host Bryant (6-7 NEC) at The Pope on Friday.
LIU didn’t have to wait long to rebound from the loss to SFC, pulling out a 66-63 triumph over visiting Sacred Heart Monday night on sophomore Ryan Weise’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Weise finished with 17 points, seven assists and four steals for the Sharks, who will join the men’s squad at Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday.
In other local college hoops news, the Bulldogs of Brooklyn College celebrated Senior Night and the end of the regular season in style at the West Quad Gymnasium on Tuesday.
Anthony McClean scored 24 points and fellow senior Jordan Wright added 14 as the BC got ready for this weekend’s CUNYAC Championships by beating Brooklyn rival Medgar Evers 108-77.
The Lady Bulldogs capped a perfect 14-0 run through the CUNYAC regular season with a 94-31 rout of Medgar Evers on Tuesday and will be the top seed at this weekend’s playoff tournament.
Ericka James scored 13 points and fellow freshman Nancy Pham added 12 off the bench for BC, which begins its run to the CUNYAC title Saturday afternoon against an as-yet unnamed opponent.
In pro hoops news, the Brooklyn Nets will begin their stretch run toward the playoffs Thursday night when they return from the All-Star break to visit the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Nets (25-28) won seven of their previous 10 games entering the league’s annual hiatus. They sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference playoff race, two games in front of eighth-place Orlando and six behind sixth-place Indiana.
“Right now we’re solidly in seventh,” said Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie. “You don’t want to give up ground to Orlando. You also understand you’ve got a long climb to get to Indiana.
“So if you have aspirations of doing that, then it starts immediately after the break,” he added. “It really started before the break but we capitalized on that momentum and hopefully carried into the games after that.”
Following their visit to Philadelphia, the Nets will head out to Charlotte on Saturday before hosting Orlando in a critical game for playoff positioning here at Barclays Center on Monday.
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