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.