Terriers, Sharks enjoy sweeps week
Local hoops squads post back-to-back wins in Brooklyn
The St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers and Long Island University Sharks are still a long way from where they want to wind up in this COVID-altered campaign.
But both of our borough’s Division I men’s basketball teams made the most of their respective two-game Northeast Conference series’ last week, putting each squad in the hunt for a league title and a shot at the NCAA Tournament come March.
Senior guard Chauncey Hawkins spearheaded the Terriers (4-3, 4-2 NEC) to back-to-back wins over Mount St. Mary’s, averaging 19 points and six assists per contest, as SFC topped the Mountaineers (2-5, 1-2), 70-55, last Thursday afternoon before posting Friday’s 67-55 triumph.
The Terriers climbed to third overall in the NEC standings, behind first-place Bryant (9-2, 5-1) and neighborhood rival LIU (3-1, 3-1), which is coming off a pair of wins over St. Francis University (Pa.) last week at the Steinberg Wellness Center in Downtown Brooklyn.
Senior forward Ty Flowers was a virtuoso in Thursday’s 78-75 win over the visiting Red Flash (1-6, 0-3), amassing 21 points, nine rebounds, four assists and seven steals in 31 minutes as the Sharks opened their home schedule in style.
Flowers, who became the first NCAA player in over a decade to put up as diverse and productive a stat line, was back at it Friday, lifting LIU over SFU, 71-58, behind his 10 points, eight boards and six helpers.
Redshirt junior forward Eral Penn finished with team highs of 20 points and 12 boards for the Sharks, who will be back on the hardwood Thursday night at Wagner College for the opener of a two-game set.
The Terriers, who had this week’s scheduled series at Fairleigh Dickinson pushed back to Feb. 16-17, will be off until visiting the Sharks on Jan. 21.
Both LIU and SFC also spent the week showing off their tenacious defense.
Known primarily for their high-flying offense, the Sharks forced a whopping 48 turnovers during the sweep of SFU, including an NEC single-game season-high 27 in last Thursday’s win.
LIU leads the league with a 26.7 percent turnover rate and 20.5 turnovers forced per game in conference play. The Sharks also rank second with a plus-6.5 turnover margin and 8.8 steals per contest.
The Terriers wore down the Mount during the second game of both contests at the Daniel Lynch Gymnasium, limiting their opponent to only 43 combined points after intermission.
On the local women’s basketball scene, SFC (1-5, 1-5) dropped two straight at Mount St. Mary’s last week, including Friday’s 65-59 defeat, which saw senior guard Melody Van Ness show of her shooting touch by hitting 6-of-10 field goal attempts on the way to a 16-point, seven-rebound effort.
The Terriers also had their scheduled two-game set with FDU pushed back this week and will resume play vs. LIU at Remsen Street’s Pope Center on Jan. 23.
The Lady Sharks (1-3, 1-3) also dropped two in a row last week at SFU, suffering a pair of four-point setbacks, including Friday’s 66-62 defeat to the host Red Flash.
Junior Brandy Thomas had 13 points and seven boards for the Sharks, who will open a two-game series against visiting Wagner Thursday night here in Brooklyn.
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