Red Flash pick up key road victory

BROOKLYN — The Saint Francis men’s basketball team gutted out its first road win of the season to beat the defending NEC Champion LIU Blackbirds 74-67 on Thursday night.

Keith Braxton recorded his 30th career double-double and his sixth of the season with 16 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, while Isaiah Blackmon netted a game-high 17 points.

“This was our best team win of the season,” SFU coach Rob Krimmel said. “We received contributions from top t -bottom and really came together as a team down the stretch to get critical stops on the defensive end when we needed them. I am proud of our group and excited to get back after it on Saturday.”

The Red Flash built a 16-point halftime lead, then dug in their heels over the last four minutes after LIU Brooklyn cut it to five.

Saint Francis held the Blackbirds to 1-for-6 from the field with three turnovers over the last four minutes to secure the victory.

Braxton finished the first half with 13 points and seven rebounds ,and Blackmon poured in 12 as the Flash led 45-29.

The Blackbirds scored 12 of the first 16 points of the second half over the first 3:30 to make it a single-digit game. Holding a 52-44 lead, Saint Francis rattled off a 6-0 run, capped by a pullup jumper from senior Andre Wolford to restore a large lead, 58-44, at the under-12 media timeout.

LIU Brooklyn climbed back into the game and trailed 69-64 with 3:53 remaining after a layup by Ty Flowers before the SFU defense stiffened. Jamaal King scored the next three points from the free throw line as SFU held on for the win.

The Red Flash missed their final 10 3-pointers after starting 5-for-7 to finish the game 5-for-17.

Saint Francis forced LIU Brooklyn into 18 turnovers while committing just 12. King recorded a career-high six steals, the most by an SFU player this season.

SFU’s bench outscored the Blackbird 23-7. Saint Francis snapped an eight-game road losing streak dating back to last season.

LIU Brooklyn’s Raiquan Clark, the leading scorer in the NEC, finished with 29 points and seven rebounds.

The Red Flash will try to complete a 2-0 trip to the Big Apple on Saturday at St. Francis Brooklyn at 4 p.m.

ST. FRANCIS (6-8): Thompson 0-5 2-4 2, Laporal 2-5 0-0 4, King 3-9 6-9 12, Braxton 7-15 1-2 16, Blackmon 7-15 1-2 17, Flagg 2-6 3-4 8, Kuzavas 3-5 0-0 6, Wolford 2-4 0-0 5, Gaskins 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 28-67 13-21 74.

LIU BROOKLYN (7-8): Flowers 5-13 0-0 11, van Sauers 2-4 1-2 5, Batts 4-11 2-2 13, Agosto 1-9 0-0 2, Clark 12-16 5-7 29, Penn 0-5 0-0 0, Cisse 0-1 0-0 0, Ndim 1-1 2-2 4, Hicks 0-0 0-0 0, Frias 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 26-64 10-13 67.

Halftime–St. Francis (Pa.) 45-29. 3-Point Goals–St. Francis (Pa.) 5-17 (Blackmon 2-5, Flagg 1-1, Wolford 1-2, Braxton 1-3, Thompson 0-3, King 0-3), LIU Brooklyn 5-23 (Batts 3-8, Frias 1-4, Flowers 1-7, Agosto 0-4). Fouled Out–Agosto. Rebounds–St. Francis (Pa.) 42 (Braxton 13), LIU Brooklyn 39 (Flowers 11). Assists–St. Francis (Pa.) 10 (King, Braxton 4), LIU Brooklyn 12 (Flowers 4). Total Fouls–St. Francis (Pa.) 16, LIU Brooklyn 18. A–437 (2,500).

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