How sweep it is! Sharks down Terriers
LIU wins both ends of Battle of Brooklyn series vs. SFC
Nine days later and a few blocks over didn’t make much of a difference in this year’s installment of the Battle of Brooklyn Series.
After routing rival St. Francis Brooklyn on Remsen Street on Jan. 30, the Long Island University Blackbirds did it again Monday night at the Steinberg Wellness Center, rolling to a 96-84 triumph over the Terriers to complete a sweep of the annual two-game set for neighborhood bragging rights.
Junior Virshon Cotton, who had 12 points in the first meeting between these squads, took his game to another level in the rematch.
Cotton scored a team-high 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-7 from 3-point range, to go with two rebounds and three assists for LIU (7-5), which snapped a two-game losing streak.
The 6-foot-2 guard from Milwaukee, Wisconsin also hit a flurry of jumpers en route to contributing eight points to a critical 16-3 first-half run by the Sharks as they opened a 53-34 cushion at the half.
Junior Eral Penn added 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting with 11 rebounds and senior Ty Flowers, MVP of the Battle of Brooklyn game last month, scored 20 for the Sharks, who moved within percentage points of Bryant, Merrimack and Fairleigh Dickinson (6-4) for first place in the Northeast Conference.
Graduate student guard Travis Atson put up a career-high 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting, drilling 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, and junior David Muenkat posted career bests with 21 points and 11 rebounds for his first career triple-double as SFC (4-7) lost its season-high fourth straight.
The Terriers, who slipped into eighth place in the NEC, will try to get back into the win column Thursday when they visit St. Francis University (Pa.) for the opener of a two-game series in Loretto, Pennsylvania.
The Sharks will also hit the road Thursday for the first of a two-game set at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
The LIU women split a two-game set at FDU last Thursday and Friday, edging the Knights 54-46 in the opener behind 18 points from senior guard Brandy Thomas before dropping the finale, 57-36, in Hackensack, N.J.
The Sharks (3-7) were slated to a open a back-to-back set at Merrimack in North Andover, Mass., Tuesday afternoon.
Over at SFC, the Terriers (2-8) suffered consecutive road losses at Wagner last week and will try to rebound at the Pope Center this week as they host FDU on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In local pro sports news, the Brooklyn Nets announced Monday that they have signed free agent forward Noah Vonleh, though terms of the deal were not released as per team policy.
Brooklyn, which has been beefing up along the front line of late, recently added veteran forward Iman Shumpert and Norvel Pelle.
The 6-foot-10 Vonleh should give them some extra muscle along the interior after averaging 5.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest during his 335-game NBA career that has featured stops with Charlotte, Portland, Chicago, Minnesota and the New York Knicks.
The 25-year-old was originally selected with the ninth overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft by Charlotte after spending one season at the University of Indiana.
The recent additions may also help make up for the continued absence of superstar forward Kevin Durant, who will not play again until at least Saturday as he continues to go through COVID-19 protocol after coming into contact with a team employee who tested positive for the deadly virus.
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