By Patrick McCormack
Going into St. Francis Brooklyn’s game against Bryant, Terriers head coach Glenn Braica chose to start sophomore Amdy Fall over senior Matt Milk because of matchups. Braica’s decision proved to be the right one, as Fall had a spectacular game scoring 21 points, 10 recording blocks, and brought in nine rebounds, including a monster dunk and free throw to put the Terriers ahead for good with 36 seconds left, in their 62-59 victory over the Bulldogs.
"We decided to start Amdy and he did a great job. He set a good tone. He was unbelievable. I think his length bothered them and he is a high-level shot blocker. We got him the ball around the basket and he did a good job of finishing," Braica said.
The Terriers started the second half on a 17-4 run, which was capped by a dunk from Fall, to knot the game at 40. The main key to the run was the Terriers, who shot 57.7% from the floor, made plays.
Braica saw a change in his team after the half.
“Guys made plays and that's why we turned it around. Brent (Jones, who had 15 points, 9 assists, and recorded zero turnovers) was great, and made every big shot and the big deflection and steal."
Fall was happy to get the start in the victory.
"Not that it makes a difference, but I was happy to get the start," Fall commented. "Honestly, we played hard as a team. Brent was great finding me in the post. I ran the floor and blocked shots the best I could. It feels good to get a close win like this."
The Bulldogs took the lead straight back after this run, but never led by more than six.
With the score 23-19, Bryant went on an 11-0 rally, led by 10 points from Dyami Starks, who had 16 of his 20 points in the first stanza, to go up 34-15. The Bulldogs took a 36-23 lead into the locker room. Braica was not happy with his team’s effort in the first half.
“We had to play harder. Our transition defense stunk, we weren’t guarding one on one, and we had to find a way to score," Braica said. "We weren't playing hard enough and we had to pick it up.”
The Terriers, who lost three of their last four contests by a combined four points coming into the game, have one game remaining. With a win against Fairleigh Dickinson, and either a Mount St. Mary or Bryant loss, St. Francis can be the #4 seed and host a Northeast Conference playoff game.