Checking In On… the NECPosted by rtmsf on February 18th, 2012
Ray Floriani is the RTC correspondent for the MAAC and NEC conferences.
A week to go. Barring upsets, LIU Brooklyn appears set for the top seed. They own a one-game lead over Wagner but swept the Seahawks in their two meetings. In the postseason tournament, don’t count out Danny Hurley’s club. Nor Robert Morris or St. Francis (NY). Yes, one more week before the fun really starts.
Team, NEC record, overall record:
|Robert Morris||11-4, 20-8|
|St. Francis (NY)||11-4, 14-12|
|Central Connecticut St.||8-7, 11-14|
|Sacred Heart||7-8, 13-15|
|Mount St. Mary’s||5-10, 7-19|
|St. Francis (PA)||4-11, 5-21|
|Fairleigh Dickinson||1-14, 2-24|
NEC Co-Players of the Week:
- Jamal Olasewere, LIU, 6’7″, Jr., F– Averaged 26.5 points and 11 rebounds. Posted his eighth double-double of the season with a 21-point, 11-rebound outing in the win over St. Francis (NY) at Madison Square Garden.
- Shane Gibson, Sacred Heart, 6’2″, Jr., G – Averaged 32 points while shooting a blistering 63% from the field. Gibson hit 30 points in the first meeting with Bryant which also allowed him to break the single season scoring record (542 points) for Sacred Heart since they moved to Division I.
NEC Rookie of the-Week:
Ousmane Drame, Quinnipiac, 6’9″, Fr., F – Averaged a solid nine points, eight rebounds and two blocks in a 2-0 week for the Bobcats. Drame has averaged 10.4 rebounds over the last six games and is seventh in the NEC (7.3 RPG) in that category.
- LIU Brooklyn – Swept rival and Brooklyn neighbor St. Francis (NY). Blackbirds have won five straight and 14 of the last 15 in the series. Julian Boyd had double-doubles in both games. Jamal Olasewere was named MVP of the Battle of Brooklyn for his career high 32 points. Blackbirds are second in the nation with 28.2 free throw attempts per game.
- Wagner – Continued the winning ways by sweeping Mount St. Mary’s. Seahawks hit the 20-win mark for the sixth time in the school’s 91-year basketball history. Wagner also clinched a playoff berth and guaranteed a first round home game. Jonathon Williams led Wagner with a 16.5 points per game and shot 72% shooting from the floor. Senior Tyler Murray also contributed a 12.5 PPG week.
- Robert Morris – Swept two games with St. Francis (PA). Colonials now own a 43-28 edge in the longest running rivalry in school history. Robert Morris saw the wealth spread over the two rivalry matchups. Sophomore guard Coron Williams set the pace averaging 15.5 points for the two games. Another sophomore, Mike McFadden, had a season high 14 points in the win at St. Francis. Velton Jones averaged 8.5 assists.
- St. Francis (NY) – Lost both rivalry games with LIU Brooklyn. Junior forward Akeem Johnson had an outstanding two games averaging 23.5 points and eight rebounds. Johnson has had double figures in 10 of his last 12 games and is second in the NEC in field goal percentage, shooting a superb 60%. Sophomore guard Ben Mockford, the NEC pace setter in three point field goals, also turned in two strong outings averaging 17.o points.
- Quinnipiac– Two for two against CCSU. Ike Azotam and James Robinson accounted for nearly half of the Quinnipiac offense. Ousmane Drame also had a strong week propelling him to conference Rookie of the Week accolades. Defense played a big part as the Blue Devils were held to 31% field goal shooting for the two games. Defensive efficiency for the Bobcats in those two games was an impressive 69 and 95 respectively.
- Central Connecticut – Dropped two to Quinnipiac. Freshman guard Kyle Vanales averaged 17.5 points for the two games. Ken Horton grabbed career rebound number 800. The Blue Devil senior is one of four players in NEC history to hit the 1,750 points, 800 rebounds mark. A good sign for CCSU, currently in a four game skid, is the contributions of junior forward Joe Efese and sophomore forward Terrell Allen.
- Sacred Heart – Won two meetings against Bryant. Pioneers shot 60.4% and 56.8% in the respective games of the ‘New England Knockout’. Shane Gibson had an outstanding week for Sacred Heart. He has scored over 20 points eighteen times this season. Freshman Phil Gaetano continues to play well. The first year lead guard leads NEC ‘rookies’ with 117 assists (4.3 per game). Sacred Heart has used 10 different lineups this season.
- Monmouth – Swept FDU. Hawks have now won six of their last eight games. Monmouth has now won three straight conference road games. Junior Ed Waite registered his 100th career steal in the win at FDU. Hawks now have seven NEC victories. The past five seasons saw an average of just six conference wins per year.
- Mount St. Mary’s – Lost the two meetings against Wagner. Mount was held under sixty points both meetings. Offensive efficiency was a respective 70 and 95. Struggles came from the floor with a 37% field goal percentage, including 21% from three point range. Julian Norfleet enjoyed an 18-point outing in the first meeting but was limited to nine the second go round.
- St. Francis (PA) – Lost two to Robert Morris. Red Flash have now dropped eight straight to their NEC rivals. Bright spot was the play of Scott Eatherton, posting road double-double number six. Earl Brown also had a season-high 17 points in Saturday’s meeting.
- Fairleigh Dickinson – Swept by in state NEC rival Monmouth. Melquan Bolding scored 17 points coming off the bench in the home matchup. Bolding followed that up with a 24-point, 4-assist showing at Monmouth. Graduate student George Goode is the only Knight to start all 25 games to date. He is averaging 15.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
- Bryant – Defeated in the two matchups with Sacred Heart. Bright spot was three Bulldogs averaging double figures for the week. Sophomore Alex Francis (16 points) led the way. Junior Frankie Dobbs (12 points) and junior Raphael Jordan (11 points) were the others contributing. Interestingly the game at Sacred Heart was a one possession 79-77 affair while the game at Bryant was a 72-46 blowout in favor of the visiting Pioneers.
Thursday, February 23:
- Wagner at Bryant
- Mount St. Mary’s at CCSU
- LIU Brooklyn at FDU
- Robert Morris at Sacred Heart
- St. Francis (PA) at Quinnipiac
- St. Francis (NY) at Monmouth
Saturday, February 25:
- Robert Morris at Quinnipiac
- St. Francis (PA) at Sacred Heart
- Mount St. Mary’s at Bryant
- St. Francis (NY) at FDU
- LIU Brooklyn at Monmouth
- Wagner at CCSU
End of regular season