Brown’s big game lifts SFU

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Earl Brown turned in his ninth double-double as St. Francis snapped a two-game losing streak and beat Sacred Heart, 64-60, Thursday night in Northeast Conference play.

Brown had 13 points and 11 rebounds as the Red Flash (3-21, 3-10) won for the second time in their past three road contests and doubled its road win total from the prior season.

The sophomore hit a jumper with 54 seconds left to snap a 56-56 tie and added two free throws for a four-point edge. Sacred Heart never pulled closer than two points after that.

“We did a great job down the stretch getting stops when we needed to,” SFU coach Rob Krimmel said. “Give credit to the guys. They executed and made great plays. We missed some free throws that would have made things a little more comfortable but we’ll take it.”

Ronnie Drinnon and Ollie Jackson each added 12 points each for St. Francis, while Greg Brown scored 10 in addition to a game-high five assists.

Shane Gibson scored 26 points with eight rebounds for the Pioneers (9-14, 7-5). The senior hit 8-of-18 from the floor, 3-of-5 from 3-point range and 7-of-8 at the foul line.

The Flash never trailed in the first half and opened up a 14-point lead less than 15 minutes into the contest. Much of the early momentum came from a 5-of-8 start from 3-points range thanks to Jackson and Greg Brown who hit on three and two in the half, respectively.

The Pioneers responded with a 16-to-2 run to knot things up at 32-all by the intermission.

“I thought in the first half we started by executing some things offensively but got away from that,” Krimmel said.

“We’ve talked about playing to win in close games like this. Hopefully, this will build some confidence with our guys. We’re in these situations now we’ve got to grow from them.”

The Red Flash continues its two-game Connecticut road trip on Saturday when it visits Quinnipiac.

ST. FRANCIS (3-21): Shannon 2-7 0-3 5, E. Brown 3-7 7-8 13, Jackson 4-11 1-2 12, Ervin 2-4 2-2 6, Drinnon 4-7 4-5 12, Millaud-Meunier 1-2 2-2 5, G. Brown 3-6 3-4 11, Major 0-1 0-0 0, Peters 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-45 19-26 64.

SACRED HEART (9-14): Montes 5-16 3-4 13, Gibson 8-18 7-8 26, Greenbacker 1-5 0-0 2, Glowiak 2-7 2-4 6, Tate 2-4 1-2 5, Cramer 2-3 0-0 4, Abdel Latif 0-2 2-2 2, Falzon 1-2 0-1 2. Totals 21-57 15-21 60.

Halftime-Tied 32-32. 3-Point Goals-St. Francis 7-16 (Jackson 3-7, G. Brown 2-3, Millaud-Meunier 1-2, Shannon 1-3, Major 0-1), Sacred Heart 3-10 (Gibson 3-5, Montes 0-1, Greenbacker 0-1, Glowiak 0-3). Fouled Out-Drinnon. Rebounds-St. Francis 31 (E. Brown 11), Sacred Heart 40 (Gibson 8). Assists-St. Francis 13 (G. Brown 5), Sacred Heart 7 (Gibson 4). Total Fouls-St. Francis 19, Sacred Heart 20. Technical-Montes. A-331.