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Terriers still looking for first win

The St. Francis men’s basketball team can’t catch a break.
The Terriers blew nine-point lead with ten minutes to go against St. John’s in Queens, eventually falling 76-70 to the Johnnies.
“They came in like it was a neighborhood game, and you saw what happens when teams come in and play like they have nothing to lose,” said St. John’s coach Mike Anderson following the upset scare. “I always say never look at the name on the jerseys, because each game has its own characteristics.”
On Saturday, St. Francis wrapped up its participation in the Emerald Coast Classic on Saturday, falling in their final game of the mid-season tournament, 73-67, to North Carolina A&T to go to 0-6 on the season.
The Terriers were down by as many as 15 in the second half but powered back with a late 10-2 run to cut the A&T lead to just two possessions. They would ultimately be handed their second loss of the weekend.
NC A&T looked to be in the driver’s seat for the majority of the second half, but St. Francis had a different perspective. Down 58-43 late, the Terriers would tack on ten straight points on a 16-5 run. A basket by Michael Cubbage with 5:33 to go would cut the Aggie lead to 69-65.
A&T’s Marcus Watson would answer with a quick three-point basket and effectively put the game out of contention for the Terriers.
The transfer duo of Patrick Emilien (14 points) and Michael Cubbage (11 points) led St. Francis in scoring again on Saturday. Tedrick Wilcox Jr. turned in his third consecutive double-digit performance, scoring 10 points, adding six rebounds and an assist.
Brooklyn native, and freshman guard, Nick Folk made his collegiate debut on Saturday. Folk was perfect at the free-throw line for four points, adding an assist, a block, and a steal in 16 minutes off the bench.
The Terriers were scheduled to make a trip to the Bronx to face Fordham, looking for their first win of the young season. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. and can be seen on SNY.

St. Francis falls to another Big Ten foe

For the second time in the first three games this season, the St. Francis men’s basketball team traveled to a Big Ten city.
The Terriers opened the season with a battle against Wisconsin in Madison, and on Thursday night, they made their way to University Park to face the Penn State Nittany Lions. St. Francis would come up short, falling 74-59.
Just like their game against Wisconsin, St. Francis was able to take a lead in the first minutes. After trapping the Nittany Lions under the basket on the opening possession, Rob Higgins was able to secure the loose ball as Penn State attempted to pass out and drove the length of the floor for a contested layup, opening the scoring with a 2-0 lead.
The next time down the floor, Patrick Emilien and Vuk Stevanic keep the Terriers second possession alive with a pair of offensive rebounds, Stevanic putting his back up to give St. Francis a 4-2 lead, and forcing the Nittany Lions to take a timeout.
SFC kept it to a single digit deficit through the majority of the first half, dropping it to a one possession game on back to back trips down the floor in the first five minutes.
First, it was Jack Hemphill spotting up on the wing for a three on an assist from Higgins to make it a 11-9 game. Then, on the next trip down, Trey Quartlebaum hit a long jumper off his left foot just inside the arc for two, cutting the deficit to 14-11.
Penn State would settle in from there, extending its lead out to as many as nine points. St. Francis would fight its way back in the final three minutes of the first half, as a Larry Moreno fast break three cut the PSU lead to 30-25 with 2:55 to play.
The Nittany Lions would extend their lead to 40-27 by half, and carry that lead to the final horn.
Just like their last time out against the Big Ten, transfer forward Patrick Emilien would lead the team in scoring, finishing with 16 points, adding a team-high six rebounds, as well as two steals and one assist.
Tedrick Wilcox Jr. notched a season-high nine points in 16 minutes, adding one steal and one defensive rebound. Fellow transfer Bahaïde Haïdara also got his most time on the court this season Thursday night, contributing 9 points in 18 minutes, adding one assist.
Larry Moreno matched his season best with eight points (3-4 FG, 2-3 3PT) with one assist in 20 minutes off the bench.
Higgins matched his career high mark for steals in a game, notching five. That matches his previous career high, recorded against LIU on Jan. 30, 2021. He added eight points, four rebounds and three assists on the night.

St. John’s improves to 3-1 on the year

St. John’s topped Fairleigh Dickinson, 87-74, on Saturday night inside Carnesecca Arena to improve to 3-1 on the season.
All five Red Storm starters recorded double figures, including team-high 17-point performances from both Julian Champagnie and Posh Alexander. Champagnie also grabbed 10 boards for his first double-double this season and 12th of his career.
“There are things we can work on both defensively and offensively,” Champagnie said. “We did have some positives along with the negatives. We are going to come back as a group to work on what we need to work on.”
Stef Smith added 14 points and went 8-for-10 from the line, Montez Mathis chipped in 13 points going 6-for-10 from the field, and Joel Soriano finished with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting for the Red Storm.
The win marked the 13th straight non-conference victory at Carnesecca Arena for a St. John’s squad that was playing without injured freshman guard Rafael Pinzon and graduate student Tareq Coburn, who missed the contest with a non-COVID illness.
“We were missing two of our guys that were key from our bench,” said coach Mike Anderson. “I always think our strength is going to be our bench. We didn’t have those guys, and we didn’t have a great shooting night.
St. John’s led by as many as 22 points and kept a double-digit advantage for the majority of its wire-to-wire victory. The Johnnies outscored Fairleigh Dickinson (0-3), 46-24, in the paint and converted 22-of-29 attempts at the free-throw line.
Aaron Wheeler and Dylan Addae-Wusu gave the Red Storm a spark off the bench finishing with eight and six points, respectively. The duo combined to shoot 3-for-5 from distance while Addae-Wusu also handed out a game-high five assists.
St. John’s helped turn the Knights’ over 23 times in the contest and converted the miscues into 27 points. It marked the most turnovers by a Red Storm opponent since DePaul coughed up 24 on February 20 at Carnesecca Arena.
Still, Anderson said there was room for improvement on that side of the ball.
“I always think we can score,” he said. “To me, it was the defense [that was the problem]. Coming into this game, what were our defensive goals? One of them was to, hopefully, keep them in the 50s or 60s and we didn’t get that accomplished,
St. John’s was scheduled to return to action on Tuesday, playing host to St. Francis Brooklyn at 7 p.m.

St. Francis returns to home court

For the first time in 629 days, the St. Francis men’s basketball team got the opportunity to take the court in Daniel Lynch Gymnasium in front of fans on Saturday.
In the first home game for 12 of the 17 players on the roster, the Terriers fell to St. Thomas (MN), 91-73. The win was the first for St. Thomas since making the historic jump from NCAA Division III competition to Division I.
The Terriers worked from behind for the entirety of regulation, after St. Thomas opened the game on a 13-5 run and did not relinquish the lead. The Tommies first half lead climbed to as many as 12, but leading scorer Michael Cubbage and the Terriers pulled to within four and five points on two different occasions in the first half.
They faced at 45-37 deficit at halftime.
Despite being down, the Terriers returned to the court motivated in the second half, opening the frame on a 13-9 run and eventually cutting the Tommies lead to four with 16:15 to play.
Junior guard Rob Higgins scored 12 of his season-best 16 points in the second half. Higgins added a team-leading four assists, as well as two steals and two rebounds.
Higgins was only bested in the scoring column by Marist transfer Michael Cubbage, who recorded a career shooting day: 20 points (8-15 FG, 1-5 3PT), adding seven rebounds to lead the team, two steals and one assist.
Junior guard Trey Quartlebaum also posted a career-best shooting performance, dropping 14 points (5-9 FG, 3-7 3PT) and three rebounds.
Fellow junior guard Larry Moreno scored his first points of the season, contributing eight points, five rebounds, and two assists in 25 minutes off the bench.
St. Francis opens play on the road in the Emerald Coast Classic against Penn State on Thursday. Tip-off is schedule for 7:00 p.m. and can be streamed on Big Ten Network.

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