Poor first half sinks Red Flash

From Mirror reports

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Saint Francis men’s basketball team couldn’t overcome its slow start in a 95-82 loss at American on Tuesday night.

The loss dropped the Red Flash to 3-5 while the Eagles improved to 5-2.

The Red Flash put together a frantic second half rally, cutting a 20-point halftime deficit to five, before the Eagles pulled away. Redshirt junior Isaiah Blackmon scored a season-high 22 points while junior Keith Braxton added 16 points and 14 rebounds in the loss.

“We lacked the sense of urgency that we need to play with to open the game,” Flash coach Rob Krimmel said. “Against a good team like American, it will dig you in too big of a hole and that was the case tonight. We played with better urgency in the second half to cut it to five but it wasn’t enought. Hopefully, we learn a lesson from this and come out with a better focus on Sunday.”

Saint Francis opened the second half on a 31-16 run to narrow a 50-30 halftime deficit to 66-61 after a Braxton layup with 8:58 remaining. The Eagles responded with back-to-back dagger three-pointers on the next two possessions to spark a 12-0 run and put the game out of reach.

Saint Francis allowed American sophomore Sam Iorio to get loose in the first half as he buried 9-of-10 shots and 6-of-7 threes en route to a 24-point half. He finished with 33 points.

The Red Flash are at Delaware (7-2) Sunday for a 2 p.m. game.

SAINT FRANCIS (82): Broxton 4-13 8-8 16, King 6-17 4-5 16, Wolford 3-11 3-3 11, Laporal 1-3 0-0 2, Thompson 0-1 0-0 0, Blackmon 8-10 2-4 22, Flagg 3-4 1-1 7, Gaskins 2-2 1-2 5, Kuzayas 1-1 1-2 3, Dixon-Conover 0-0 0-0 0. Totals — 28-62 20-25 82.

AMERICAN (95): Iorio 12-15 2-2 33, Nelson 6-10 4-6 17, Matuzis 5-8 4-8 15, Gasperini 5-11 2-4 14, Bragg 3-9 4-4 11, Yiljep 1-1 1-4 3, Boonyasith 1-1 0-0 2, Beckston 0-1 0-0 0. Totals — 34-56 17-28 95.

Halftime: American, 50-30. 3-point goals: SFU 5-21 (Braxton 0-3, King 0-3, Wolford 2-8, Laporal 0-0, Thompson 0-0, Blackmon 4-6, Flagg 0-1); American 10-24 (Iorio 7-10, Nelson 1-2, Matuzis 1-4, Gasperini 0-1, Bragg 1-6, Beckton 0-1). Rebounds: SFU 35 (Braxton 14); American 28 (2 tied with 6).

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