Thursday NEC Recap: Abraham Leads Robert Morris

January 15th, 2010

Thanks to a phenomenal second half from freshman Karon Abraham we may be well on the way to separation within the Northeast Conference. In a matchup of two teams with one league loss Abraham scored twenty second-half points in Robert Morris' 80-73 win over Fairleigh Dickinson (4-13, 3-2) in Moon Township. The Colonials (9-8, 4-1) did a better job rebounding and scoring in the paint in the final twenty minutes and that was the difference. FDU, who was led by Alvin Mofunanya's 22 points, had their three-game win streak ended and fell to 3-2 in NEC play. 

RMU has struggled with consistency throughout the season, an issue that has at times left head coach Mike Rice at wit's end. That characteristic was also on display on Thursday night. Only a +1 on the boards in the first half, Robert Morris was a +7 (17-10) in the second and also scored twenty points in the paint. Four players scored in double figures with Rob Robinson adding fifteen and Russell Johnson added ten off the bench, another area that paid dividends in the triumph. FDU reserves were outscored 20-3 last night and their relative lack of depth (four starters played at least thirty-five minutes) could be a hindrance as the season wears on.

These two will meet again in Teaneck next Thursday. The Knights visit Saint Francis (PA) on Saturday while Robert Morris has another showdown to look forward to with Monmouth visiting. 

Long Island 79, Wagner 64
The Blackbirds (7-9, 5-0) controlled play for most of the night to extend their win streak to three and remain atop the NEC standings. David Hicks led the way with a career-high 19 points and seven rebounds while guards Jaytornah Wisseh and Kyle Johnson added sixteen points apiece. Wagner (2-16, 0-5) dropped their seventh straight game due to eighteen turnovers that LIU converted into 32 points. Michael Orock led the Seahawks with nineteen points and Wagner was a +12 (42-30) in rebounding margin. Next up for LIU is a trip to Mount St. Mary's on Saturday while Wagner hosts St. Francis (NY) the same day.

Quinnipiac 76, Central Connecticut State 45 
The Bobcats (10-6, 4-1) raced out to an 11-0 lead and never looked back in their 31-point pasting of the Blue Devils in New Britain. Deontay Twyman and Jeremy Baker led four QU players in double figures with fourteen points apiece and as a team Quinnipiac shot 52.6% from the field. CCSU, who was without leading scorer Robby Ptacek due to injury, was led by Shemik Thompson (12 points) in losing their sixth straight game. Both teams have home-and-home contests coming up with Central hosting Sacred Heart on Saturday while Quinnipiac visits Bryant. 

Monmouth 63, Saint Francis (PA) 53
The Red Flash, who started conference play in December with a pair of wins, dropped their third consecutive NEC game in falling to the Hawks in Loretto. Monmouth (8-9, 4-1) used a 15-2 spurt just before the halfway point of the second half to gain control of the contest as Travis Taylor led the way with 20 points. The Hawks, who have won five straight games, shot 56.5% from the field in the second half to remain a game out of first place. Justin Sofman (15 points) and Whitney Coleman (13 points) also scored in double figures while Anthony Ervin led SFPA (4-12, 2-3) with twelve. Leading scorer Devin Sweetney had fifteen rebounds but shot 1-for-12 from the field in scoring seven points. Monmouth visits Robert Morris on Saturday while Saint Francis hosts Fairleigh Dickinson.    

St. Francis (NY) 61, Mount St. Mary's 58
The preseason favorites to win the NEC dropped to 1-4 in league play with their three-point home loss to the Terriers (6-9, 3-2). Ricky Cadell led the victors with 21 points and as a team SFNY shot 46.5% from the field to just 34.5% for the Mountaineers (4-12, 1-4). Kelly Beidler led The Mount with 15 points and 10 rebounds but guards Jeremy Goode and Jean Cajou shot a combined 6-for-25 from the field for a combined seventeen points. The cold shooting negated sixteen St. Francis turnovers to just nine for the home team. Next up for Mount St. Mary's is Long Island while the Terriers visit Wagner on Saturday.    

Sacred Heart 72, Bryant 60
Ryan Litke surpassed the 1,000-point mark on his way to a game-high seventeen points off the bench in the Pioneers' (10-6, 3-2) win at Bryant. The Bulldogs (0-17, 0-5), who were playing their first home game since December 12th, were led by Adam Parzych (16 points) yet ultimately remained Division I's lone winless team due to 23 turnovers. In addition to Litke Sacred Heart had three other players score in double figures: Corey Hassan (13 points), Jerrell Thompson (13) and Liam Potter (11 points). In a sloppy game that had a combined 43 turnovers it was SHU's +13 edge in points from the foul line that ultimately made the difference. The Pioneers visit CCSU on Saturday while Bryant hosts Quinnipiac.