Teaneck, NJ - The respective teams entered this Northeast Conference matchup with different circumstances. Saint Francis University came off consecutive road wins over Bryant and Central Connecticut. FDU was attempting to bounce back from Sunday’s home loss at the hands of Mount St. Mary’s.
They say some shots ‘have eyes.’ That means the second the ball leaves the shooter’s hand, the ball appears headed for the bottom of the net. From the beginning of the contest, this one had eyes, and two teams trading short runs, crucial shots and well-executed sets. This one was even and headed into overtime. To no surprise, an extra session was necessitated.
After 45 minutes of high-octane action, FDU earned a hard-fought 86-82 victory. FDU improved to 6-3 in conference while Saint Francis is 5-4.
FDU led 37-36 at the half. What follows is a breakdown of the first five possessions by both teams in the second half. We often talk about the ‘first four,’ meaning four minutes. The first five possessions, as it turned out, used almost four minutes of clock.
As can be seen by the made field goals, each team used a little inside work and perimeter to vary their attack. As the game turned out, using those early second half possessions wisely proved to be vital for the Knights. They kept their scoring touch, while preventing Saint Francis from getting an early run in gear. Both offenses came out productive, with FDU holding the slight 7-6 edge.
Possessions: Saint Francis 76, FDU 74
Offensive efficiency: Saint Francis 108, FDU 116
eFG percentage: SFU 58, FDU 60
Free throw rate: SFU 32, FDU 22
Offensive rebound percentage: SFU 29, FDU 22
Turnover rate: SFU 22, FDU 15
Leading Scorers and Effectiveness Factors:
Saint Francis: Malik Harmon (20 points, EF 23)
FDU: Darnell Edge (20 points, EF 24)
What Saint Francis did well: Shoot. A 58 percent eFG mark was accentuated by an 8-of-19 (42 percent) showing from three-point range. Marksmanship played no small part in the Red Flash ringing up a 108 efficiency.
What FDU did well: Respond. Coach Greg Herenda did not think his team played well. They did answer the challenges, and there were many in a game with 14 ties and 16 lead changes.
Saint Francis had a slight 38-32 advantage in points in the paint. FDU put six players in double figures, displaying good balance and the ability to force defenses to not overplay one or two players. “We have a lot of very good players,” said FDU coach Greg Herenda in response to the Knights sharing the point production wealth.
“We were disappointed in losing Sunday to Mount St. Mary’s. We had a few good days of practice and came out hard. This league is so competitive. In this league you can go from first to sixth in a week.” - FDU’s Darnell Edge
“We did not play particularly well. We turned it over at crucial spots, did not guard them, but found a way to hang in and eventually find the way to win. This team just plays through every possession of every game. (Marques) Townes made a great defensive play at the end of overtime. This was important as any of our six (NEC) wins, and it was in front of a good, enthusiastic crowd.” - FDU coach Greg Herenda