FDU point guard Sidney Sanders Jr. awaits a screen from Kyle Pearson. (Photo courtesy of Ray Floriani)
TEANECK, NJ -- Win the battle, lose the war. It is rare to have a team ‘win’ efficiency, yet go down in scoreboard defeat. Welcome to the Northeast Conference. Just about anything happens.
FDU edged St. Francis Brooklyn 86-85 on two last-second free throws by freshman Malachi Nix. The victory put FDU at 3-2, the same record as St. Francis in NEC play. The game was contested at a quick pace.
St. Francis 68
St. Francis 125
The Terriers had the higher efficiency largely due to their ability to win the offensive boards, where they enjoyed a 52-24% edge. In fact, St. Francis won three of the Four Factors, losing only in turnovers. The Terrier TO rate was an over the limit 24%, while FDU was above average at 10%. Turnovers played a major part as the Knights had a 23-11 scoring advantage on points off turnovers.
Jalen Cannon of St. Francis scored his 100th career point with just over four minutes to play. Cannon led all scorers with 23 points and rebounders, grabbing eleven. His efficiency rating was an outstanding 30.
Sidney Sanders Jr. led FDU with 20 points. FDU coach Greg Herenda took time postgame praising Sanders Jr. for shooting 4-of-20 from the floor, yet being the ultimate competitor and finding the way to lead the Knights to the victory. Sanders did have a solid 19 efficiency, largely due to 12-of-13 shooting from the line, 9 assists , only one turnover and 4 steals.
“He has a heart you cannot measure or quantify like a statistic, and rubs off on teammates," Herenda said. "Sid brings it.”
There are no official statistics revealing how many times the team leading in efficiency winds up losing the game. From experience working with the tempo-free based numbers, I have to say it is around a 3% occurrence. In other words, over 95% of the time, the more efficient team emerges victorious. Not on this single digit cold night. Another ’typical’ night in the NEC. Herenda said of Sanders, "his attitude is contagious."
“Every second of every possession for forty minutes” – sign in the FDU locker room