LORETTO - St. Francis took a beating in its most important home game of the season, and now the team has to prevent the embarrassing loss from doing further damage to a campaign that had turned promising.
St. Francis Brooklyn destroyed the Red Flash on Thursday, 73-44, handing them their worst conference home loss since 1996 (a 32-point blowout against Rider). The Terriers led by as many as 40 points, something that virtually never happens regardless of the opponent at DeGol Arena.
"Very disappointing, especially because you've got to protect home court," SFU coach Rob Krimmel said.
The teams came in tied for fifth in the Northeast Conference at 6-6, so by all indications they should have been relatively even. That hasn't been the case, however, in either head-to-head meeting as the Terriers (16-12) crushed the Flash (8-18) the first time around, too, 78-52.
"You've got to turn the negativity into positivity and move forward," Flash forward Earl Brown said.
St. Francis will have a chance to do that quickly as it hosts Long Island Brooklyn in the final home game of the season Saturday. It's still mathematically possible SFU could finish in the top four and host a first-round NEC Tournament game, but realistically there's virtually no chance that can happen because of tiebreakers and all teams' remaining schedules.
The Flash can still finish with a decent seed for the tournament - most likely sixth - but that's only if they don't let the drubbing they took Thursday hurt them even more going forward.
"You just stay together no matter what people say or whatever you hear," Brown said of the team's confidence.
One might think the St. Francis coaching staff would try to forget about Thursday's debacle and have the players just turn the page and prepare for Saturday. Why subject them to the crushing disappointment of breaking down the film with so little time to prepare for the next game?
Krimmel, though, said he and his staff will remain consistent with their approach of going over the previous game because consistency is the only way to build a program.
"We've got to make sure that we remember this one so we don't let it happen again," the coach said.
The Flash trailed 13-12 before the Terriers started their blowout with a 29-7 run. Earl Brown led SFU with 12 points, while Greg Brown had 11. Ben Mockford paced the Terriers with 16.
"We didn't expect anything like that," Terriers coach Glenn Braica said of the rout. "These guys are good. These guys have been playing [well]."
"I think this woke us up that we were real lackadaisical in the first half," Earl Brown said.
Game notes: Nearly 20 former players will be on hand for SFU's annual alumni all-star game Saturday at 11:30 a.m., prior to the contest against LIU Brooklyn at 2 p.m. Fans are invited to attend the all-star game, which will feature some of the program's best players over the past 15 years, as well as player-coach Don Appleman. Check Saturday's Mirror for a list of the players.
ST. FRANCIS (NY) (16-12): Cannon 2-4 1-1 5, Milk 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 3-5 0-0 6, Mockford 6-11 0-0 16, Douglas 2-4 0-0 6, Hopkinson 4-9 3-4 11, Ulmer 3-5 0-0 7, Isailovic 4-7 0-0 11, Fall 2-3 3-3 7, Martin 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 28-52 7-8 73.
ST. FRANCIS (PA.) (8-18): E. Brown 5-13 2-4 12, Drinnon 3-8 0-0 6, Harmon 1-5 3-4 6, G. Brown 4-5 1-2 11, Major 0-5 2-4 2, Whyatt 1-2 0-2 2, Cesarz 0-1 0-0 0, Millaud-Meunier 0-3 0-0 0, Gresko 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson 1-4 0-0 3, Mazzara 0-1 0-0 0, Wrencher 1-1 0-0 2, Angelou 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-48 8-16 44.
Halftime-St. Francis (NY) 42-19. 3-Point Goals-St. Francis (NY) 10-19 (Mockford 4-7, Isailovic 3-4, Douglas 2-3, Ulmer 1-1, Jones 0-1, Hopkinson 0-3), St. Francis (Pa.) 4-16 (G. Brown 2-2, Harmon 1-3, Jackson 1-4, Whyatt 0-1, Mazzara 0-1, Millaud-Meunier 0-2, Major 0-3). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-St. Francis (NY) 38 (Martin 7), St. Francis (Pa.) 24 (Millaud-Meunier 4). Assists-St. Francis (NY) 12 (Jones 11), St. Francis (Pa.) 7 (Whyatt 2). Total Fouls-St. Francis (NY) 15, St. Francis (Pa.) 10. A-1,024.