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SFU men pick up big road win

February 16, 2014
The Altoona Mirror

HACKENSACK, N.J. - The St. Francis men's basketball team picked up a pivotal Northeast Conference victory on Saturday night, beating Fairleigh Dickinson University, 89-82, at Stratis Arena.

With the victory, the Red Flash improved to 8-17 (6-6 NEC) on the season, while the Knights fell to 8-17 overall (4-7 NEC). St. Francis swept the season series against FDU, which would benefit the Red Flash down the road in any tie-breaking situations involving the postseason tournament.

Six players scored in double figures for the Red Flash, and Earl Brown led the way with 22 points. Ronnie Drinnon collected a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Greg Brown, Dom Major Jr. and Stephon Whyatt each scored 12. Malik Harmon rounded out the scoring with 11 points.

FDU trailed by as many as 12 with 1:26 remaining in the contest before using a 10-2 run over a 56-second stretch to trim the SFU lead to 84-80 with 30 seconds left. But the Knights could not get any closer.

The visitors shot 54 percent (30-of-56) from the field, including 58 percent in the second half, while FDU finished at 40 percent (27-of-68) and 9-of-23 from long distance.

Senior Sidney Sanders Jr. tallied his fifth 30-point game of the season after netting a game-high 31 points (21 in the second half) to go along with a game-high six assists. Junior Mustafaa Jones tied a career high with 21 points, with 16 coming after halftime, and connected on 5-of-9 from behind the arc.

The Knights held an early 9-7 lead nearly five minutes into the contest, but SFU took the lead for good with 12 unanswered points for a 19-9 lead at the 11:06 mark of the first half.

FDU fought back to cut the Red Flash's advantage to 26-22 with 5:16 to go before halftime, but the visitors would stretch their lead back out to 10 at 38-28 heading into the locker room.

SFU shot 50 percent in the first half and outscored the Knights, 11-1, in points off turnovers in constructing its double-digit advantage.

FDU started the second half on a 10-3 run, as Jones' 3-pointer put the Knights down 41-38 with 16:04 remaining.

With FDU now down six at 52-46, the Red Flash scored 11 straight points to extend their lead to 63-46 with 8:04 to go. SFU would lead by double figures until the Knights made their furious rally at the end.

FDU only turned the ball over seven times, with just two coming in the second half, and outscored the Red Flash in the second half, 13-4, in points off turnovers. But SFU did a lot of its damage in the paint to hold a 14-point edge and also outscored the Knights by seven in the fast break.

The Red Flash host Long Island Brooklyn on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Flash have already defeated the Blackbirds this seaosn.

FDU, which now finds itself in the final NEC Tournament spot, plays Thursday at Bryant at 7 p.m.

ST. FRANCIS (8-17): E. Brown 7-10 7-12 22, Drinnon 5-9 4-8 14, G. Brown 6-7 0-0 12, Major 5-11 0-0 12, Harmon 2-4 6-8 11, Whyatt 3-8 5-5 12, Millaud-Meunier 2-3 0-0 5, Jackson 0-4 1-2 1. Totals 30-56 23-35 89.

FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON (8-17): Sanders Jr. 12-29 6-7 31, Jones 8-14 0-0 21, Seilund 3-7 1-2 9, Gillette 3-7 3-4 9, MacDonald 0-8 7-9 7, Nix 1-2 2-2 5, Dawson 0-0 0-0 0, Kingsley 0-0 0-0 0, Harris 0-0 0-0 0, Mann 0-0 0-0 0, Pearson 0-0 0-0 0, Owona 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-68 19-24 82.

Halftime-St. Francis 38-28. 3-Point Goals-St. Francis 6-17 (Major 2-8, E. Brown 1-1, Millaud-Meunier 1-1, Harmon 1-3, Whyatt 1-3, Jackson 0-1), Fairleigh Dickinson 9-23 (Jones 5-9, Seilund 2-3, Nix 1-2, Sanders Jr. 1-5, MacDonald 0-4). Fouled Out-MacDonald, Seilund. Rebounds-St. Francis 38 (Drinnon 10), Fairleigh Dickinson 33 (Seilund 7). Assists-St. Francis 15 (G. Brown 5), Fairleigh Dickinson 9 (Sanders Jr. 6). Total Fouls-St. Francis 17, Fairleigh Dickinson 24. A-1,214.

 
 
 

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