Sharks whip Terriers in Brooklyn Battle
LIU's Flowers and Penn make history as first co-MVPs
Senior Ty Flowers scored 23 points and junior Eral Penn added 22 as Long Island University used a steady, balanced attack to knock off neighborhood rival St. Francis Brooklyn for the Battle of Brooklyn title Saturday afternoon at Remsen Street’s Pope Center.
Flowers, who also grabbed eight rebounds, hit 9-of-12 shots from the floor to earn co-Most Valuable Player honors with Penn, the game’s high rebounder with 13 caroms.
But the high-scoring duo wasn’t alone in dismantling SFC head coach Glenn Braica’s normally stingy defense.
Junior Jermaine Jackson poured in 21 points and sophomore Alex Rivera added 14, including nine during a 22-4 first-half run that put LIU (6-3, 6-3 Northeast Conference) ahead to stay 31-19.
Junior Virshon Cotton finished with 12 points for the Sharks, who reached the 100-point plateau against a Division I opponent for the first time since 2012 and won their first official Battle of Brooklyn game since 2018.
Flowers and Penn also became the first tandem to share MVP honors in the always-heated contest, spearheading LIU to its second consecutive win.
Senior Chauncey Hawkins scored 20 points and graduate guard Unique McLean had 14 for the Terriers (4-4, 4-3 NEC), who had a two-game winning streak snapped.
SFC lost out on a chance for some quick revenge when Monday’s scheduled rematch was pushed back to Feb. 8 due to the Nor’easter that buried our borough in over a foot of snow.
That game will be played at LIU’s Steinberg Wellness Center, where the Sharks were scheduled to open a two-game series with Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday.
The Terriers will also stay in Brooklyn Heights this week, kicking off a two-game set with visiting Wagner on Thursday afternoon.
The SFC women made sure the Battle of Brooklyn wouldn’t be a sweep this year, maintaining their recent mastery of the Sharks with a fifth consecutive win in the historic series last Thursday.
Sophomore guard and reigning NEC Rookie of the Year Nevena Dimitrijevic earned MVP honors by scoring 20 points and senior forward Ally Lassen added 16 as the Terriers cruised to a 66-53 triumph at the Steinberg Wellness Center.
Sophomore Alyssa Fisher had 15 points and freshman Fruzsina Horvath finished with 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds for SFC (2-6, 2-6), which avenged a 54-43 home loss to LIU on Jan. 23 and ended a three-game losing streak.
Junior Brandy Thomas amassed 13 points and seven boards and freshman Zoee Hache added nine points for the Sharks (2-6, 2-6), who will open a two-game series at FDU on Thursday in Hackensack, N.J.
The Terriers will return to the hardwood Thursday afternoon at Wagner in the first of back-to-back contests.
In other local sports news, James Harden entered the Brooklyn Nets’ scheduled contest against the Los Angeles Clippers at Downtown’s Barclays Center Tuesday night as the NBA Player of the Week.
Harden, acquired last month in the blockbuster deal that sent Caris LeVert to Indiana and Jarrett Allen to Cleveland, earned the award for the 25th time in his prolific career.
The former Houston Rocket helped the Nets win three out of four games last week, averaging 25.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 11.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks in 37.6 minutes per game while shooting 56.8 percent from the field.
“The Beard” also hit 55 percent from 3-point range and 88.2 percent from the free-throw line before sitting out Sunday’s 149-146 loss to the Wizards in Washington, D.C., due to what the team listed as a left-thigh contusion.
In his first eight games as a Net, Harden is averaging 24.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, a league-leading 11.8 assists and 1.1 steals in 39.9 minutes per game.
The Nets will also be home Friday night to host the Toronto Raptors, the team that swept Brooklyn in the first round of last year’s playoffs at the NBA’s bubble site in Orlando, Florida.
But that was without Harden and fellow Nets superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
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