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NEC BASKETBALL UPDATE

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NEC Basketball

 

NEC Media Relation: Men's Basketball Press Release:

December 9th, 2003

NEC Player of the Week
Rich Pittman, Central Connecticut State
So., F, 6-6, 210 lbs., Boston, MA/Thayer Academy
Pittman, a first-time NEC Player of the Week honoree, turned in his two best performances of the season as the Blue Devils improved to 3-1 in league play with an 85-80 win over Sacred Heart and a 68-67 victory over St. Francis (PA).  Pittman averaged 19.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and shot 12-18 (.667) from the field and 15-20 (.750) from the charity stripe.  He netted a career-high 22 points (6-8 FG, 10-15 FT) against Sacred Heart and came back with 17 points (6-10 FG, 5-5 FT), a season-high nine rebounds and two assists in the one-point victory over the Red Flash.  In that latter contest, Pittman hit a key putback with 1:05 to play to give the Blue Devils their first lead since midway through the second half.  On the season, the Boston, MA product is averaging 8.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and is shooting a team-high .567 from the floor.

NEC Rookie of the Week
Justin Chiera, Central Connecticut State
Fr., G, 6-1, 170 lbs., Colonia, NJ/Colonia
Chiera collects the first NEC Rookie of the Week award of his career by virtue of terrific shooting performances in Central Connecticut State’s two league victories.  Chiera averaged 19.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals and hit 14-25 shots from the floor (.560) and 9-14 from three-point range (.643).  In the Blue Devils’ 85-80 win over Sacred Heart, he popped for a career-high 26 points, drilling six three-pointers in nine attempts.  Three days later, the Colonia, NJ native added 13 points, two rebounds and two steals in a 68-67 triumph over St. Francis (PA).  Chiera continued to shine from downtown against the Red Flash, hitting 3-5 shots from beyond the arc.  In CCSU’s four league games, Chiera has converted 16-22 three-point attempts (.727) and 27-41 field goal attempts (.659), while averaging a team-high 18.0 ppg, a figure that ranks him sixth in the conference.  On the season, he stands fourth on the Blue Devils with 10.4 ppg and is the NEC’s fourth most prolific three-point shooter at .438 (26-64).
 

Around The NEC

Mount St. Mary’s Phelan Resigns After Record 49 Years As Head Coach
Mount St. Mary’s men’s basketball coach Jim Phelan announced that he will retire at the end of the 2002-03 season at a press conference last Thursday at Knott Arena.  The legendary Phelan is in his NCAA record 49th season at the Mount and is third all-time on the NCAA Division I career win list with 824, behind North Carolina’s Dean Smith (879) and Kentucky’s Phog Allen (876)  He has coached an NCAA record 1,340 games.

“The decision to step down was made much earlier,” said Phelan.  “I had discussed it with several of my close friends and decided that the time was right.  Certainly, healthwise I feel fine, but the energy needed for the virtual year-round recruiting just isn’t there.”

Phelan has guided 16 Mount teams to NCAA Tournaments, including five trips to the NCAA Division II Final Four and the College Division national championship in 1962.  Nineteen of his teams have reached the 20-win plateau, one more than UCLA’s John Wooden.  Phelan can boast of two NCAA Division I tournament teams, one National Invitation Tournament bid and Northeast Conference championships in 1995 and 1999.  He earned National Coach of the Year honors in 1962 and 1981.

Phelan assumed the title of winningest active coach in the NCAA when Dean Smith retired in 1997.  In the Northeast Conference championship game on March 1, 1999, Phelan became the third person in NCAA Division I to coach 800 college basketball victories, and put his team into the NCAA Tournament.  With the win, he joined Smith and Rupp on that exclusive list.

After a distinguished playing career at La Salle and serving in the Korean War, Phelan played briefly with the Philadelphia Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Pottstown Packers of the old Eastern League.

After spending one year as an assistant at his alma mater, Phelan made the move to rural Maryland for an anticipated short stay.  However, the Mountaineers placed fourth in the 1961 National College Division Tournament and won the school’s first-ever NCAA championship in 1962. His 1981 squad recorded a school-record 28-3 mark, losing to Florida Southern in the NCAA Division II Championship game.  Phelan’s 1985 group returned to the Final Four, going 28-5 and finishing third in the nation, and his 1986 and 1987 teams each logged 26 victories.  It was this surge that led to the Mount’s move to Division I in 1988.

In 1991, Phelan was one of 15 nominees to pass the screening committee for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  He is now the only college basketball coach ever to reach 800 wins without a plaque in Springfield.

Milan Brown To Take Over For Phelan In 2003-04
Current Mount St. Mary’s men’s basketball associate head coach Milan Brown will take over as the new head men’s basketball coach after Jim Phelan retires at the conclusion of the 2002-03 campaign.  The announcement came on Friday, one day after Phelan announced he would be leaving his post after a record 49 years at the helm.  Brown, who signed a three-year contract that will take effect July 1, 2003, will become the 21st coach in Mount history.

“We had a great opportunity of finding an energetic, talented and resourceful young professional right in our own backyard that is highly capable of continuing to build on the strong foundation that already exists,” said Mount St. Mary’s Athletic Director Dr. Harold P. Messenger.  “We have been able to witness the resourcefulness of Brown, with the immediate impact of this year’s recruiting class and the signing of two very talented players for next year.”

Said Brown of his promotion, “This is an exciting time in my coaching career because to become a head coach, especially at a place like Mount St. Mary’s, is what I have been working towards.  This place is like family and I am very comfortable with the athletics, academics and the entire Mount community.  I see a bright future for the Mount men’s basketball program and look forward to leading these young athletes while building a strong program that will carry on the legacy Jim Phelan has built the past 49 seasons.”

Brown has spent time as an assistant at Old Dominion (1995-97), Mount St. Mary’s (1997-99) and William & Mary (2000-02) before returning to the Mount this season.

Wagner’s Boylan Jinx
When Wagner plays Monmouth on Monday, the Seahawks will be looking to snap a 15-game losing streak to the Hawks at Boylan Gymnasium.  The last Wagner win in West Long Branch came during the 1986-87 campaign.

Sullivan Picks Up 250th Career Victory
It took him ten tries, but UMBC head coach Tom Sullivan finally registered the elusive 250th victory of his coaching career on Saturday when the Retrievers upended St. Francis (NY), 73-58.  After a 3-0 start, UMBC had lost nine straight entering Saturday’s contest, but rolled to victory over a slumping Terrier squad.  Sullivan has posted a 96-114 record in eight seasons at UMBC and is 250-239 overall.  Prior to arriving at UMBC, Sullivan also had head coaching stints at New Hampshire (152-109 from 1976-85) and Manhattan (2-16 in 1985-86).

Green Day
With Fairleigh Dickinson’s 83-79 victory over Wagner on Thursday, Tom Green became the first coach in NEC history to register 200 league victories.  Already the winningest coach in conference annals against league competition, Green improved to 200-131 (.604) all-time in NEC regular season outings.  His teams have also gone 18-15 (.545) in NEC postseason play for an overall mark of 218-146 (.599).

Wagner’s Dye Breaks Long Distance Shooting Mark
Wagner senior guard Dedrick Dye (Clinton, TN/Clinton), one of the nation’s top three-point marksman this season, set a new school record for career trifectas in the Seahawks’ 83-79 loss to Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday.  Dye, who has drilled 221 three-pointers, passed Dean Borges, who hit 218 treys from 1986-91.  Dye currently leads the NEC in 3PFG made (3.36/game) and 3PFG% (.500).  The last NEC player to shoot 50 percent from three-point range in a season was St. Francis (PA)’s Mike Iuzzolino, who turned the trick in both 1989-90 (.516) and 1990-91 (.528).  Current Monmouth head coach Dave Calloway holds the record in the category, sinking 58.5 percent of his shots from downtown for the Hawks in 1988-89.  In the latest NCAA statistics report, Dye is tenth in 3PFG% and 22nd in 3PFG made.

Hall Remains In Seventh Place All-Time On NEC Scoring List
Wagner senior forward Jermaine Hall (Dublin, GA/Dublin), a two-time first team all-NEC performer, held steady in his climb up the NEC career scoring chart.  By averaging 15.0 points over two games last week, Hall pulled to within ten points of surpassing Fairleigh Dickinson’s Desi Wilson (1,902; 1988-91) to move into sixth place all-time.  Hall is also attempting to become just the fourth player in league history to reach the 2,000 point mark.

NEC Career Scoring List
1. Terrance Bailey Wagner  2,591 1983-87
2. Joe Anderson St. Francis (PA) 2,301 1987-91
3. Chris McGuthrie Mount St. Mary’s 2,297 1993-96
4. Myron Walker Robert Morris 1,965 1990-94
5.  Rik Smits Marist  1,945 1984-88
6. Desi Wilson Fairleigh Dickinson 1,902 1988-91
7. Jermaine Hall Wagner  1,893 1999-02
8. Joe Griffin Long Island 1,830 1991-95
9. Jeff Hamilton St. Francis (PA) 1,810 1981-85
10. Charles Jones Long Island 1,772 1996-98

NECtoids
St. Francis (NY) forward Clifford Strong (Brooklyn, NY/Bishop Loughlin) scored the 1,000th point of his career on Saturday in a Terrier loss to UMBC.  Strong has totaled 1,014 points in three years with St. Francis (NY) (844 points) and one at Loyola (MD) (170 points)...Wagner’s 22-point win over Quinnipiac last Monday marked the first time in ten lifetime meetings between the two schools that the final margin reached double digits.  The average victory margin had been a mere 4.5 points...Robert Morris is 0-5 in afternoon games this season...FDU has played two overtime games this year. The Knights have won both contests, both on Monday nights and both in double-overtime at the Rothman Center.

Quotes Of The Week
Mount St. Mary’s head coach Jim Phelan, during the press conference at Knott Arena where he announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2002-03 season:

“I have had a remarkable run for 49 years,” Phelan said.  “I never meant it to be that. I was hired when I was 24 and it seems just like yesterday.  I went through seven college presidents and 10 U.S. presidents.  It has been a run like you could not believe.  I knew it had to end.  People say, ‘Why don’t you go for 50 (seasons)?’  To me 50 is just a number, and numbers are numbers.  It doesn’t mean a thing to get to this number or that number, or to catch the next person in line.”

The day before this big announcement, Phelan was at the Mother Seton School with his granddaughter, Erin. He was her third-grade show-and-tell project.

“I was in between two dogs,” said Phelan.

More from Phelan:

“Someone asked me if I felt guilty recruiting the freshmen and then leaving, Phelan said, laughing. “They knew how old I was when I recruited them.”
 

NEC Team-By-Team Notes

Central Connecticut State (6-7, 3-1 NEC)
Last Week’s Results: CCSU 85, Sacred Heart 80; CCSU 68, St. Francis (PA) 67
This Week’s Schedule: vs. Robert Morris (Monday); at FDU (Saturday)

• After losing four straight, the Blue Devils have now won three-of-five, including a five-point win over Sacred Heart and a one-point squeaker over St. Francis (PA) last week.
• CCSU is 6-3 in games decided by ten points or less and 5-1 in games decided by five points or less.
• Junior forward Ron Robinson (Bronx, NY/Winchendon School) had his second straight double-double and third in four NEC games with 14 points and 11 rebounds in the win over the Red Flash. He averaged 15.5 ppg and 10.5 rpg last week.
• Freshman guard Justin Chiera (Colonia, NY/Colonia) continues to shine in NEC play, averaging 19.5 points in the two wins last week. The NEC Rookie of the Week popped for a career-high 26 points in the win over Sacred Heart, converting 9-12 shots from the floor and 6-9 from three-point range. On the week, he drilled 9-14 (.643) from beyond the arc.
• Sophomore forward Rich Pittman (Boston, MA/Thayer) averaged 19.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg last week to earn NEC Player of the Week honors. He hit 12-18 from the field, 15-20 from the stripe and dropped a career-high 22 points in the win over Sacred Heart.
• In his last four games, all league contests, Chiera has hit 16 -22 three-point attempts (.727), 27-41 field goal attempts (.659) and is averaging a team-high 18.0 ppg. He is sixth in the NEC in scoring in league affairs.
• As a team, the Blue Devils have shot over 50 percent from the floor in each of their conference games and rank second in the NEC with a .535 percentage in these contests.
• After allowing five straight opponents to shoot over 50 percent from the field in December, CCSU has now kept four of its last five opponents under the 50 percent mark.

Fairleigh Dickinson (8-6, 3-2 NEC)
Last Week’s Results: FDU 76, St. Francis (NY) 71 (2 OT); FDU 83, Wagner 79; Sacred Heart 74, FDU 62
This Week’s Schedule: vs. CCSU (Saturday)

• The Knights downed St. Francis (NY) at home on Monday and upset Wagner on the road on Thursday, before having their win streak snapped at three by Sacred Heart on Saturday.
• FDU has already doubled its win total from a year ago and needs just one more victory in league play to equal last year’s total.
• The Knights have been outrebounded in every game this year and 19 straight dating back to last season, but have made up for it with a balanced scoring attack, by taking care of the ball and strong shooting from three-point range. Senior forwards Lionel Bomayako (Paris, France/La Coloniere) and Matt Hammond (Burlington, NJ/Burlington) rank one-two on FDU in scoring with 12.5 ppg and 11.8 ppg, respectively. Bomayako has hit 31-83 (.373) from long distance, while Hammond is shooting .496 from the field. The Knights are averaging just 13.5 turnovers per contest, while forcing 16.9 and have a 1.0 assist/turnover ratio.
• Junior guard Brandon Edwards (Southfield, MI/Southfield Lathrup) put together three of the best performances of his collegiate career in averaging 15.3 ppg and 3.3 rpg last week. He scored a career-high 20 points and collected four steals in FDU’s double-overtime win over SFNY.
• Edwards had made eight straight treys until missing one vs. SHU. For the week, he was 6-7 (.857) from beyond the arc.
• The Knights upended Wagner by shooting .544 from the field, while turning the ball over a season-low nine times. FDU sharpshooters drilled 12-18 3PFG attempts. Junior guard Marcus Whitaker (Trenton, NJ/Trenton Central) was a perfect 4-4 from long range in the win.
• In four games since returning from a stress fracture in his foot, junior guard Mensah Peterson (N. Brunswick, NJ/N. Brunswick) is averaging 10.8 ppg and 3.0 rpg.

Long Island (4-9, 2-2 NEC)
Last Week’s Results: Long Island 82, Mt. St. Mary’s 69
This Week’s Schedule: at UMBC (Monday); vs. Mt. St. Mary’s (Thursday); vs. UMBC (Saturday)

• The Blackbirds defeated Mount St. Mary’s, 82-69, in their only game of the week. The win snapped a season-high five-game losing streak and evened their league mark at 2-2.
• Graduate guard Antawn Dobie (Corona, NY/Msgr. McClancy) returned after missing two games to rest his injured right shoulder and delivered 27 points (16 in the second half), along with eight assists.
• Dobie moved into 11th place on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,330 points. Next on the list is Albie Grant (1963-66), who tallied 1,403 points.
• Dobie ranks seventh in the nation in assists (7.5/game).
• The Blackbirds shot .519 from the floor in the game, including a 61 percent effort in the second half. LIU held the Mount to just .309 shooting for the contest.
• Next up for Long Island is a matchup with UMBC on Monday. Seven of the eight all-time meetings between the school's have been decided by eight points or less. The Blackbirds last swept its Maryland swing to close out the 1998-99 season.
• Sophomore forward Derek Bell (Brooklyn, NY/Milford (CT) Academy) posted his fifth career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds at the Mount.
• Senior forward JaJa Bey (Corona, NY/Cheshire Academy (CT)) needs 42 points to become the 25th player in LIU history to score 1,000 career points.
• LIU did not post its fourth win last season until defeating Sacred Heart on Feb. 20.
• Over their last three games, the Blackbirds are shooting just .557 (49-88) from the line.
• It must be quite an adjustment for LIU head coach Jim Ferry. In his final two years at Adelphi, his teams posted a 59-4 record.

UMBC (4-9, 2-2 NEC)
Last Week’s Results: St. Francis (PA) 73, UMBC 68; UMBC 73, St. Francis (NY) 58
This Week’s Schedule: vs. LIU (Monday); at LIU (Saturday)

• The Retrievers snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 73-58 win over St. Francis (NY) on Saturday. Earlier in the week, the Retrievers fell at St. Francis (PA), 73-68. UMBC held a 68-64 lead over the Red Flash with 44 seconds to play, but St. Francis (PA) scored the final nine points of the contest.
• Head coach Tom Sullivan finally secured his 250th career victory on Saturday. Sullivan’s next milestone will be his 100th win at UMBC, as he currently stands at 96-113.
• In the win over the Red Flash, junior guard Kareem Washington (White Plains, NY/White Plains) scored a career high 27 points and tied a career-best with eight rebounds.
• UMBC benefitted from an excellent night at the charity stripe against St. Francis (NY), hitting a season high 28 free throws in 33 attempts. Senior guard Justin Wilson (Brooklyn, NY/Archbishop Molloy) sank 10-10 from the line to come within one of Peter Mulligan's school record of 11-11 set last season vs. Wagner.
• Wilson has become just the fifth player in school history to amass 800 points (837, 22nd place) and 300 assists (302, eighth place).
• Freshman John Zito (Windsor, CT/St. Thomas More) returned to full-time duty last week after missing eight games with a broken bone in his foot. He scored 13 points in 22 minutes vs. the Red Flash and followed up with eight points and a team-high nine caroms in 32 minutes off the bench vs. the Terriers.
• Despite starting just one player over 6-4 and playing with Zito (6-6) as the tallest player on the court for much of the night, UMBC outrebounded St. Francis (NY), 38-34, and has outboarded all four NEC foes (+7.3 margin) to date.
• In the loss at St. Francis (PA), sophomore center Andrew Feeley (Scotch Plains, NJ/Scotch Plains-Fanwood) scored a career high 22 points, hitting 10-11 shots from the floor.

Monmouth (5-7, 3-0 NEC)
Last Week’s Results: Penn 98, Monmouth 54
This Week’s Schedule: vs. Wagner (Monday); at Sacred Heart (Thursday); vs. Quinnipiac (Saturday)

• The Hawks played just once last week, dropping a 98-54 decision to Ivy League power Penn in a game played at the Asbury Park Convention Hall. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak.
• Monmouth’s last game at Convention Hall prior to Saturday’s loss was on February 4, 1965 when the Hawks dropped a 97-88 decision to Montclair State.
• Monmouth remains in first place with a 3-0 record, one-half game ahead of CCSU, St. Francis (PA) and Wagner, who are 3-1.
• Monmouth’s three conference wins have been by a combined eight points. Two of MU’s three league wins have featured a game-winning play in the final 10 seconds, including a tip-in basket with eight seconds remaining vs. Fairleigh Dickinson and a made free throw with 0.4 seconds on the clock against Long Island.
• The Hawks are off to a 3-0 start in NEC play for the eighth time in school history. The program’s last 3-0 start came during the 2000-2001 season. Monmouth is looking to go 4-0 in the conference for the first time since 1995-96.
• Senior center Kevin Owens (Haddonfield, NJ/Camden Catholic) had 13 points, seven rebounds and three steals vs. Penn.
• The Hawks shot just .302 from the field against the Quakers, while Penn hit at a .621 clip from the floor.
• Next up for Monmouth is a home date with Wagner on Monday. The Hawks have defeated the Seahawks 15 consecutive times at Boylan Gymnasium dating back to the 1986-87 season.
• Sophomore forward Blake Hamilton (Harrisburg, PA/Central Dauphin) has averaged 16.3 points over the last three games to lift his season average to 10.1 ppg. He hit for a team-high 14 points vs. Penn.

Mount St. Mary's (5-8, 0-4 NEC)
Last Week’s Results: Robert Morris 73, Mt. St. Mary’s 67; Long Island 82, Mt. St. Mary’s 69
This Week’s Schedule: vs. St. Francis (NY) (Monday); at Long Island (Thursday); at St. Francis (NY) (Saturday)

• While the Mount has now dropped five straight, including league setbacks to Robert Morris and Long Island last week, the big news last week was head coach Jim Phelan’s announcement on Thursday that he would be retiring at the conclusion of the 2002-03 campaign, his 49th year at the helm of the program.
• On Friday, it was announced that associate head coach Milan Brown would take over for Phelan next season. Brown assumes duties on July 1, 2003.
• Phelan (824 wins) needs five more victories to overtake Clarence "Big House" Gaines for third place on the all-time collegiate wins list.
• Freshman guard Landy Thompson (Germantown, MD/Archbishop Spalding) averaged 18.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in the Mount’s two losses. He tallied 18 points and a career-high nine boards vs. Long Island.
• Thompson, who ranks second among NEC freshman and tenth overall in scoring, is the only Mountaineer averaging in double digits.
• Mount St. Mary’s has lost 18 of its last 19 road games.
• The game vs. Long Island on Jan. 18 was the latest NEC home opener for the Mount since joining the league in 1989.
• Poor shooting cost the Mountaineers is the loss to LIU. The team shot 10-40 in the second half and 2-21 from three-point range for the game.
• Freshman forward Kiel Butler (Temple Hills, MD/Laurinburg Institute (NC)) scored a career-best 13 points (4-6 FG) against the Blackbirds.
• After beginning the season 26-42 (.619) from the charity stripe, Thompson has converted 17 of his last 20 attempts (.850).

Quinnipiac (7-6, 1-3 NEC)
Last Week’s Results: Wagner 91, Quinnipiac 69; Quinnipiac 90, Robert Morris 76
This Week’s Schedule: vs. St. Francis (PA) (Monday); at Monmouth (Saturday)

• Quinnipiac finally got back on the winning track with a 90-76
win over Robert Morris on Saturday afternoon. The win ended a five-game losing streak for the Bobcats. Earlier in the week, QU suffered a 22-point setback at Wagner.
• Junior forward Rashaun Banjo (Far Rockaway, NY/Lawrence Woodmere Acad.) had a monster day against RMU, matching a career-high with 28 points and setting a new career-best with 12 boards for his second double-double of the season.
• Senior forward Jeremy Bishop (Cohoes, NY/Shaker) tallied his fifth double-double of the year with 22 points and 12 rebounds in the same game. His 18 career double-doubles ties him with SFNY’s Clifford Strong for first among active NEC players.
• Both Bishop and Banjo are tied for the team lead with four 20+ point games this year. The win over Robert Morris marked the first time that two QU players reached the 20-point mark (Romano, Monroe) in the same game since March 1, 2002, the Bobcats’ quarterfinal win over Wagner in the NEC Tournament. It was also the first time two Bobcats had double figure rebound games (Bishop, Romano) in the same contest since QU’s NEC Tournament semifinal win over UMBC on March 2, 2002.
• In an interesting statistic, Bishop is averaging 19.0 ppg and 9.9 rpg when he does not foul out, but just 4.5 ppg and 3.5 rpg in the four games when has been disqualified.
• This is just the third Quinnipiac team in history to have a winning streak and a losing streak of five or more games in the same season, to go along with the 1989-90 and 1970-71 squads. • Junior Kason Mims (Astoria, NY/Milford Academy) averaged 15.5 ppg last week, including a team-high 18 vs. Wagner.
• Mims is third in the conference with 4.9 apg.

Robert Morris (5-8, 2-2 NEC)
Last Week’s Results: Robert Morris 73, Mt. St. Mary’s 67; Quinnipiac 90, Robert Morris 76
This Week’s Schedule: at CCSU (Monday); vs. Wagner (Saturday)

• The Colonials split a pair of conference games last week, defeating Mount St. Mary’s. 73-67, and dropping a 90-76 decision at Quinnipiac.
• Junior Chaz McCrommon (Pittsburgh, PA/Schenley) had an outstanding week, averaging 24.0 points and 6.0 rebounds. He scored a career-high 29 points (12-18 FG) against Quinnipiac and is averaging 20.3 ppg over his last four contests. He leads the team in rebounding (5.9 per game) and ranks second in scoring at 16.2 ppg. Against league competition, McCrommon is netting 19.5 ppg, third in the NEC.
• Senior guard DaMarcus Ellis (Dallas, TX/Los Angeles Valley CC) averaged 15.5 ppg in two games last week. He poured in a career-high 17 points against the Mount, including 11-12 from the charity stripe.
• Sophomore guard Maurice Carter (Richmond, VA/Eleanor Roosevelt (MD)) has scored in double figures in 10 straight games and is averaging 17.2 points per game over those contests. That includes five games scoring 20 or more points, including 21 at Quinnipiac on Saturday. He is fourth in the NEC with 18.2 ppg.
• RMU has been outrebounded by double-digits in five of its last six outings, including a 19-board deficit in the loss to QU.
• The Colonials have struggled on the road in recent years, as RMU has failed to post a winning road trip since closing out the 1999-2000 regular season with victories at St. Francis (NY) and Long Island.
• For the second time this season a pair of Colonials were able to eclipse the 20-point plateau in the same game when McCrommon hit for 29 and Carter reached 21 vs. Quinnipiac.

Sacred Heart (4-11, 2-2 NEC)
Last Week’s Results: CCSU 85, Sacred Heart 80; Sacred Heart 74, FDU 62
This Week’s Schedule: vs. Monmouth (Thursday); at St. Francis (PA) (Saturday)

• After an 0-7 start, Sacred Heart has posted a 4-4 record. Last week, the Pioneers fell by five at defending champion CCSU, but bounced back with a convincing 74-62 win over Fairleigh Dickinson for the team’s first victory of the season at the Pitt Center. Sacred Heart evened its league ledger at 2-2.
• Junior guard Maurice Bailey (Hempstead, NY/Southside) is first in the NEC in scoring against league competition, averaging 21.2 ppg. Last week, he averaged 20.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 3.0 apg. He hit 11-19 shots and netted a season-high 26 points in the loss to the Blue Devils. Bailey totaled 14 points, eight boards and six assists in a strong all-around effort vs. FDU. He is sixth overall in scoring with 16.7 ppg.
• Junior guard Chris Assel (Eagan, MN/Eagan) has lifted his season scoring average to 8.1 ppg after averaging 16.0 ppg last week. He sank 7-16 shots (.438) shots from beyond the arc and has hit a team-high 30 treys on the season.
• Junior forward Justin James (Tampa, FL/Lutheran Academy) made his most meaningful contributions of the season last week, averaging 13.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 3.0 spg off the bench. He recorded a season-high 15 points, and added eight boards and four steals vs. CCSU. James converted 11-20 shots (.550) from the floor.
• Over his last five games, junior point guard Omar Wellington (Pennsauken, NJ/Bishop Eustace Prep) has dished for 24 assists, while turning the ball over just nine times.
• Wellington is second in the NEC with 2.3 steals per game and ranks fifth in assists with 4.6 per contest.
• The Pioneers have outrebounded their last three opponents after losing the battle of the boards in 11 of the previous 12 games. They have amassed a +7.2 rebound margin against NEC foes.

St. Francis (NY) (3-10, 0-4 NEC)
Last Week’s Results: FDU 76, St. Francis (NY) 71 (2 OT); UMBC 73, St. Francis (NY) 58
This Week’s Schedule: at Mt. St. Mary’s (Monday); vs. Mt. St. Mary’s (Saturday)

• The Terriers’ slide has reached five games, the program’s longest streak since suffering through five and seven game losing skids in 1995-96. Last week, St. Francis fell to FDU in double-overtime and was defeated five days later by UMBC.
• Senior forward Clifford Strong (Brooklyn, NY/Bishop Loughlin) has been one of the NEC’s hottest players over the last few weeks. Strong has recorded five straight double-doubles to tie him for the league lead in the category. During this stretch, he has averaged 15.2 points and 14.6 rebounds per contest.
• Strong cracked the 1,000-point mark for his career against UMBC. The senior has amassed 1,014 points, with 844 coming as a Terrier and another 170 playing for Loyola (MD) as a freshman.
• Strong now leads the NEC with 9.1 rebounds per game. He has notched 18 career double-doubles, tying him for first among active NEC players with Quinnipiac’s Jeremy Bishop.
• Senior center Chris Sockwell (Brooklyn, NY/Jim Thorpe (PA)) registered season-highs in points (20) and rebounds (12) in the setback at FDU.
• Sockwell is the NEC leader in field goal percentage (.617) and was the 11th most prolific field goal shooter in the nation according to the latest NEC statistics release.
• Junior guard Mike Wilson (Naugatuck, CT/Naugatuck) averaged 16.5 points and drilled nine three-pointers last week. He canned six treys in 15 attempts vs. FDU.
• In the midst of a 14-game road stretch to begin the season, St. Francis will play its first home contest on Saturday against Mount St. Mary’s. The extended road swing is due to renovation of an auxiliary gymnasium located directly above the Pope Center.

St. Francis (PA) (7-6, 3-1 NEC)
Last Week’s Results: St. Francis (PA) 73, UMBC 68; CCSU 68, St. Francis (PA) 67
This Week’s Schedule: at Quinnipiac (Monday); vs. Sacred Heart (Saturday)

• The Red Flash improved to 3-0 in league play with a 73-68 win over UMBC, but suffered their first conference defeat five days later, losing a one-point decision at CCSU, 68-67. The setback also snapped a four-game winning streak, the program’s longest since winning four in a row from Jan. 8 - Jan. 17, 1998.
• St. Francis scored nine points in the final 44 seconds to rally from a four-point deficit in the win over UMBC.
• St. Francis is off to its best start in NEC play since posting a similar 3-1 start in 2000-01.
• The Red Flash have already surpassed their victory total from a year ago when they finished the season 6-21.
• St. Francis is 7-0 when scoring 60 or more points.
• Since being inserted into the starting lineup five games ago, senior guard Dan Swoger (East Liverpool, OH/East Liverpool) has averaged 13.8 ppg and shot 23-40 (.575) from the floor and 18-33 (.545) from downtown. The Red Flash are 4-1 in these games.
• Freshman guard Darshan Luckey (Baltimore, MD/Baltimore Southern) averaged 23.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg last week.
• Luckey tops all NEC freshman and ranks second in the league with 19.5 ppg. Newcomers Luckey and junior point guard Erick Wills (Laurel, MD/Newport Prep) have combined for 49.1 percent of the Red Flash’s scoring output.
• Sophomore forward Jason Osborne (Randallstown, MD/Rice (NY)) averaged 11.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and converted 11-21 (.524) shots from the floor last week. He pulled down a career-best nine boards vs. CCSU.
• Junior forward Steveroy Daley (North York, Ontario/North Marion) hit all five of his shots and contributed 11 points in 15 minutes off the bench in the win over UMBC.

Wagner (7-7, 3-1 NEC)
Last Week’s Results: Wagner 91, Quinnipiac 69; FDU 83, Wagner 79
This Week’s Schedule: at Monmouth (Monday); at Robert Morris (Saturday)

• Wagner won its third straight NEC contest on Monday, knocking off Quinnipiac at home by 22, but were cooled off by a red hot FDU team on Thursday, 83-79. The Seahawks did rally from a 17-point second half deficit against FDU to cut the lead to three with under a minute to play. The Knights shot 12-18 from three-point range.
• Senior guard Dedrick Dye (Clinton, TN/Clinton) became Wagner's all-time leader in made three pointers in the loss to FDU. He now has 221 for his career, breaking the old mark of 218 set by Dean Borges (1986-91). Dye leads the NEC in 3PFG made (3.36/game) and 3PFG% (.500). In the latest NCAA statistics report, he is tenth in 3PFG% and 22nd in 3PFG made.
• Five Seahawks averaged in double figures last week.
• Junior center Nigel Wyatte (Staten Island, NY/Curtis) averaged 16.5 ppg and 13.0 rpg last week. He posted two double-doubles (15 points, 13 boards vs. QU and 18 points, 13 rebounds vs. FDU) to raise his league-leading total to five.
• Senior forward Jermaine Hall (Dublin, GA/Dublin) averaged 15.0 ppg and shot 13-23 (.565) from the field. Hall has reached double-figures in scoring in 29 straight games.
• Hall raised his career scoring total to 1,893 and remains seventh on the NEC’s all-time list.
• Lafayette transfer Sean Munson (Berryville, VA/Clarke County) averaged 13.5 points and 9.0 rebounds off the bench last week. He tallied 17 points and 12 rebounds vs. QU, his first career double-double.
• Since joining the starting lineup vs. American seven games ago, junior guard Teoine Carroll (Baltimore, MD/Lake Clifton) has averaged 12.1 points and shot .533 (32-60) from the field and .500 (13-26) from beyond the arc.
 

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