LORETTO – Earl Brown scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds but it wasn’t enough to push St. Francis past New Jersey Institute of Technology, which topped the Red Flash 64-56 Saturday at DeGol Arena.
In addition to Brown, junior Ollie Jackson chipped in 12 points but the rest of the St. Francis lineup accounted for only 13 points as the Red Flash closed out their non-conference slate.
“Teams are going to look at Earl’s numbers and key in on him,” St. Francis coach Rob Krimmel said. “We need some guys to step up and start making a shot or two when that happens. We have guys who can make shots – it’s a consistency thing now for them.”
St. Francis held a 31-26 lead at the intermission but New Jersey Institute of Technology quickly erased the margin in the second half.
The Highlanders’ Damon Lynn hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 31 with 18:02 remaining. Ky Howard made one of two free throws on the next offensive series to give New Jersey Institute of Technology a 32-31 lead and the Highlanders led the rest of the way.
The Highlanders led by as much as eight when St. Francis (2-11) tore off a 17-10 run to pull within one, 54-53 with 2:44 to play. New Jersey Institute of Technology closed with a 10-3 run, with Lynn scoring four points during the span.
Lynn was 5 of 13 from the field, and scored four from 3-point range on his way to a team-high 18 points. New Jersey Institute of Technology (7-10) snapped a six-game losing streak.
The Red Flash had their chances in the second half but went cold from 3-point range, going just 2 for 11 in the frame. St. Francis hit on four 3-point field goals in the first half.
“We got a few wide-open looks that we just didn’t knock down and we got a little tentative after that,” Krimmel said. “You miss that first one, then a second one and it becomes a mental thing after that.”
St. Francis visits Bryant to open Northeast Conference play on Thursday.
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Pitt slips past Clemson in OT
Lamar Patterson had a career-high 30 points, including a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left, as Pittsburgh overcome a five-point deficit in the final seconds of regulation and beat Clemson 83-78 in overtime Saturday.
Patterson’s 3 with 3 seconds left cut the Tigers’ lead to 67-65.
Robert Morris holds off St. Francis in NEC
Karvel Anderson and Lucky Jones came up big again for top-seeded Robert Morris, with 21 and 18 points, respectively, but clutch free throws by David Appolon preserved a 60-57 victory over sixth-seeded St. Francis in a Northeast Conference semifinal on Saturday.
The Colonials (21-12) advance to Tuesday’s championship for the fifth time in six years, facing fourth-seeded Mount St. Mary’s (15-16).
Danel helping Falcons to Division III tournament
When Chelsea Danel was a senior at North Star, the Cougars were able to win a District 5-AA basketball title.
Now Danel, a senior at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, is a key contributor on a Falcons’ hoops squad which upset top-seeded Lebanon Valley 53-47 in the Commonwealth Conference championship on Saturday. It was the ninth title for the Falcons in 13 appearances.
Ferndale grad aiding Duquesne women’s hoops
Matt Schmidt was hired as an assistant coach for the Duquesne women’s basketball team in June.
Now the former Ferndale High School standout will have his first opportunity to experience March madness with the Dukes, who are the sixth-seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament which opened Thursday in Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Va.
Icecats on way to national tournament
The Pitt-Johnstown hockey team needed to overcome some long odds to advance to the ACHA Men’s Division III national championship tournament in Coral Springs, Fla. next week.
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St. Francis wins NEC quarterfinal
Ronnie Drinnon hit a go-ahead basket and a pair of free throws in the final 48 seconds, scoring a career high 20 points as sixth-seeded St. Francis battled past third-seeded Bryant 55-54 in the Northeast Conference tournament Wednesday night.
St. Francis hasn’t been in the playoffs since the 2010-11 season and scrapped past Bryant (18-14) in a closely fought contest that saw five ties and five lead changes – three in the final 3:37.
Wake Forest beats Pitt in ACC opener
Dearica Hamby finished with 25 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists and two steals as No. 11 seed Wake Forest women beat 14th-seeded Pittsburgh 72-58 in the first round of the ACC tournament on Wednesday night.
Hamby had a tremendous night in notching her school-record 22nd double-double of the season.
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