Saturday, January 2, 2016

FDU 65, St. Francis Brooklyn 61: Ray Floriani's Tempo-Free Analysis

Pete Cinella (left) and Kelsey Cruz (right) discuss FDU's victory over St. Francis Brooklyn on NEC Front Row. (Photo courtesy of Ray Floriani)

Teaneck, NJ -­ Conference play upon us. Tipping the Northeast Conference off at Rothman Center is FDU and the defending champions St. Francis Brooklyn. After some rough going at times and learning about themselves in non-­conference play, both teams were excited about the start of league play.

First quarter: Opening offense by FDU saw the Knights looking to go inside to Erika Livermore. FDU’s post threat is fronted, but weak side help is waiting for a double-team. FDU’s first possession came up empty, but a telltale sign was how it was extended with two offensive boards.

FDU ‘won’ the first four minutes, 5-­2. St. Francis ran a good deal of four-out motion. They will take the mid-range jumper if available. Coach John Thurston runs a deliberate offense, as the Terriers are not a big team. In fact, 5­-10 Dana DiRenzo ‘jumped’ center to start the contest.

End of first quarter: FDU 17 St. Francis 10

Second quarter: St. Francis fell behind by 10 early in the second quarter. The motion is affording the visitors some good perimeter looks. Willing to fire when open, DiRenzo buried two treys to quickly cut the FDU lead to four. On the other end, St. Francis had difficulty handling FDU dribble penetration. The guards had been able to get in the lane for great scoring opportunities or the ‘extra’ pass to find an open teammate underneath. A switch from man to zone by the Terriers aimed at stopping that penetration.

Halftime: FDU 31 St. Francis 27

Possessions: St. Francis 32, FDU 30

Offensive efficiency: St. Francis 84, FDU 103

Third quarter: Kelsey Cruz of FDU scored three quick baskets, two in halfcourt sets and one in transition, to open the half and push the Knights to a nine-point lead. With four minutes to go, FDU led by two, as St. Francis stayed close thanks to their perimeter shooting. A good sign for the Knights­ was that a relatively quiet Erika Livermore is becoming more assertive inside. Livermore’s play increased the lead to ten late in the quarter.

End of third quarter: FDU 49 St. Francis 44

Fourth quarter: The third quarter shot chart tells that Livermore (3) and Cruz (4) combined for FDU’s 7 field goals. FDU threatened to pull away, but each time, St. Francis and keeps the deficit at two or three possessions. With two-and-a-half minutes to go, FDU led by seven. Kat Phipps drained a three with 48 seconds left to pull St. Francis with one. After two Cruz free throws, St. Francis’ Alex Delaney had a potential game-tying three blocked by Jackie Jackson.

Final: FDU 65 St. Francis 61

Possessions: St. Francis 66, FDU 64

Offensive efficiency: St. Francis 92, FDU 102

Four Factors:

eFG percentage: St. Francis 46, FDU 47
Free throw rate: St. Francis 21, FDU 23
Offensive rebound percentage: St.Francis 33, FDU 38

Turnover Rate: St.Francis 23, FDU 17

Leading scorers and Effectiveness Factors:
St. Francis: Alex Delaney (15 points, EF 18)

FDU:­ Kelsey Cruz (23 points, EF 30)

What St. Francis did well: Shoot the threes. Eleven treys, led by Alex Delaney’s 3-of-6 from downtown, kept the Terriers in it. Any chance of FDU pulling away was negated by St. Francis’ proficiency from deep. “They (St. Francis) are so difficult to defend,” FDU coach Pete Cinella said. “They go four out with one post. We have two posts, so you constantly battle mismatches.”

What FDU did well: Care for the ball. A total of 11 turnovers, and just 17% in the turnover rate was an excellent showing for the Knights. “We came back very well cutting down on turnovers after Wednesday (loss to Siena),” Cinella said. “That showed a lot of mental toughness on our part.”

Erika Livermore added 17 points (27 EF) for FDU. Kiana Brown, coming off a nine-turnover outing against Siena, hit for 11 points, grabbed four rebounds, and had only one turnover in 37 excellent minutes. “Kiana did so much that does not show up on the stat sheet,” Cinella said.

Not a surprise at all, FDU enjoyed a 32-­12 edge in points in the paint. Led by Delaney’s 15, the Terriers enjoyed a 27-­7 advantage in bench scoring. FDU is now 4­-9, St. Francis 3­-9. Before today, the last loss in NEC play by the Terriers was against FDU on February 23, 2015 by a 60­-57 count.

1 comment:

  1. Although St. Francis has been able to challenge teams with their hustle and outside shooting, the overall inexperience of the squad and resulting untimely turnovers has prevented them from winning some games they had a real shot at. Although likely NEC first-teamer Leah Fechko won't be back next year, almost every other member of the team will be and you can see the game-by-game improvement of the underclassmen. This is a team that's coming on. The addition of two international players with some size and scoring ability will make them very tough next year and beyond. There is real promise in this group.