LORETTO, Pa. - The Saint Francis University men's basketball team fell to the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds in DeGol Arena Saturday, 97-76.
The Red Flash (5-16, 4-6) received strong efforts from freshman Earl Brown (Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Charter) and Ollie Jackson (Dallas, Texas/Pinkston ) but it was not against the Blackbirds (15-7, 9-1) balanced attack. Jackson posted a career-high 24 and Brown posted a career-high 13 but it could not overcome LIU's five player in double digits. Jamal Olasewere posted 26 points and 10 rebounds on 11-of-16 shooting, while Julian Boyd added 17 points and seven boards. Scott Eatherton (Hershey, Pa./Hershey) tallied 18 for the Flash but it was not enough for SFU to upset the NEC leaders.
The game started fast and stayed fast with both team pushing the ball quickly up the floor. The Blackbirds generated easy baskets in transition with several lobs over SFU defense before it could set. LIU did a great job in the paint and tallied 28 first half points in the lane, while also getting an excellent showing from its bench that added 21 first half points. Olasewere ran the point well and also scored the ball well with 13 in the first frame. The Red Flash stayed in the game with excellent shooting from Jackson, who was eager to avenge a 0-for-4 shooting night on Thursday. The SFU freshman went 3-for-3 in the first half from 3-point land and 5-of-6 from the field. LIU closed the half on a 12-6 run and took a 48-36 lead into the locker room.
LIU stormed out of the intermission and scored the first 10 points of the half. Saint Francis used a timeout to slow the Blackbird momentum and jump start its offense but still struggled to slow the LIU's half court attack. LIU kept attacking and the Red Flash just could not find an answer for the Blackbird's offensive assault. The Blackbird stretched their lead to as many as 28 but Saint Francis did not quit. SFU continued to battle and trimmed the advantage in half to just 14 with less than three minutes to play. Sadly that would be as close as SFU would make it.
The Red Flash return to action Thursday when they travel to Maryland to take for SFU's only meeting with Mount St. Mary's.
Flash wins sixth straight over LIU Brooklyn
LORETTO, Pa. - Freshman Alexa Hayward (Beaver Falls, Pa./Blackhawk) tossed in a career-high 23 points to lead the Saint Francis U. women's basketball team past LIU Brooklyn, 67-59, on Saturday at DeGol Arena. The win gave the Red Flash its sixth consecutive win over the Blackbirds and snapped an uncharacteristic three-game home losing streak.
"I thought it was a very good overall team effort today," said SFU head coach Susan Robinson Fruchtl. "I thought we were focused from the beginning of the game and we never let LIU go on a big run. We really seemed to answer any time they got one or two baskets."
Saint Francis (8-12; 5-4 Northeast) led for most of the evening, mounting double-digit leads in both halves. The Flash took a 10-point advantage midway through the first period on one of five Hayward 3-pointers but the Blackbirds (15-6; 4-5 Northeast) battled back to cut the SFU edge to, 32-31, at the intermission.
The Saint Francis offense stayed hot in the second half, building a game-high 17-point lead by the 6:08 mark. The Red Flash was able to hang on down the stretch to earn an eight-point win and a potential tiebreaker over LIU Brooklyn in the fast-approaching postseason.
"We getting close to February and in February every win is huge," said Robinson Fruchtl. "This was the first of four tiebreaker games four us and anytime you can get a win against one of the teams we only play once, it's big."
Sophomores Alli Williams (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) and Rebecca Keegan (Jessup, Pa./Valley View) rounded out SFU's double-digit scorers with 16 and 10, respectively. Keegan's point total and team-high six rebounds both matched career bests.
Senior Sarah Thorn (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury East), who got a starting nod at the point, pulled in six rebounds and dished out a career-high-tying eight assists.
She'tiarra Pledger tossed in 17 to pace the LIU Brooklyn offense. Ashley Palmer was close behind with 16.
LIU Brooklyn held a slim 36-to-34 edge on the boards, although the Flash made the most of its 12 second-chance opportunities, converting them into 16 points.
--SFU Sports Information--