The Saint Francis men’s basketball team (8-6, 2-1 NEC) outscored the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds (6-10, 1-2 NEC) 52-33 in the second half to earn its fifth win in its last six games, 85-68.
“Coming in, we thought LIU Brooklyn posed some matchup problems for us,” said head coach Rob Krimmel. “I am really pleased with our effort for 40 minutes tonight. Guys like Daniel Wallace and Scott Meredith and Mark Flagg gave us great minutes off the bench and we played as a unit.”
Saint Francis trailed 35-33 at the half only to rattle off a 12-0 run to open the final 20 minutes. Junior Andre Wolford drilled a corner triple to set the tone and was followed by four straight from junior Jamaal King. Wolford then contributed the highlight of the night, scoring an acrobatic reverse layup in transition plus the foul. Keith Braxton capped the run with a 15-foot jumper as SFU went in front by double digits, 45-35. LIU Brooklyn pulled within five at 45-40 before Wolford responded with a four-point play. The Blackbirds wouldn’t get closer than six points the rest of the way.
Inside the Box Score
The Red Flash shot 31-60 (51.7%) from the floor to LIU Brooklyn’s 24-66 (36.4%).
SFU connected on 9-27 (33.3%) three-point field goals while the Blackbirds made 11-35 (31.4%) from behind the arc.
Saint Francis went 14-16 (87.5%) from the foul line. LIU Brooklyn was a more modest 9-15 (60.0%).
Saint Francis was outrebounded 41-37.
Despite second chance points tilting 19-7 in LIU Brooklyn’s favor, Saint Francis outscored them 36-26 in the paint.
SFU’s bench scored 17 points.
The Red Flash recorded eight steals, turning them into 20 fastbreak points.
After committing nine turnovers in the first half, the Red Flash committed just two turnovers over the final 20 minutes.
King followed up his career-high 29 point performance at Bryant last Saturday with 23 points. It was his third game with 20 or more points this season.
Wolford also reached the 20-point mark on the number, hitting 4-10 three’s in the process. Like King, it was the third time he has eclipsed 20 points this season.
Braxton recorded his eighth double-double of the season and his fifth in his last six games with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Wallace registered a career-best six points to go with a season-high five rebounds. All came in the first half.
SFU’s 18 assists were its third highest output of the season. Senior Malik Harmon led the team with five followed by King and Braxton with four.
LIU Brooklyn’s 36.4% shooting from the field was the lowest mark by an SFU opponent since Franciscan shot 33.3% on Nov. 21. The 68 points were also the lowest since holding Franciscan to 54, a span of 10 games.
The Red Flash improved to 5-0 at DeGol Arena this season.
Saint Francis is back in front of its home fans on Saturday, Jan. 6 with a game vs. St. Francis Brooklyn at 4 p.m.