Parity seems to be the buzzword around the Northeast Conference this season as just two games separate the top-eight teams in the standings nearing the midway point of the regular season. As teams jockey for playoff position, here is a quick snapshot of where things stand:Long Island (6-2 NEC)
The NEC’s hottest team was cooled off on Saturday with an 86-71 setback at Saint Francis (PA). The loss snapped an eight-game win streak for the Blackbirds, which was the program’s longest since the 1997-98 season. LIU remained in first place, however, with a 6-2 league mark, one game ahead of a four-team pack.
Fast Fact: Long Island has posted eight wins on the road this season, tied for the most in the nation. CCSU (5-3 NEC)
The Blue Devils have won eight of their last ten games with six of the victories coming by double-digit margins. CCSU is 7-1 at home this season with the only loss coming to Long Island.
Fast Fact: CCSU’s three NEC losses are by a combined 12 points. Robert Morris (5-3 NEC)
Despite the Colonials’ first home loss of the season to Long Island last week, the two-time defending NEC champions have won four of their last five games.
Fast Fact: Robert Morris has had six of its eight NEC games decided by five points or less. The Colonials are 4-2 in those contests. Wagner (5-3 NEC)
Following a four-game win streak the young Wagner team has dropped three-of-four games. The Seahawks pulled off a season sweep of Quinnipiac last week, however, with a 90-80 win at the Spiro Center.
Fast Fact: Wagner has won an NEC-high six games by five points or less. Mount St. Mary’s (5-3 NEC)
The Mount has put together its first win streak of the season, with three straight victories entering play this week. The Mountaineers have allowed more than 63 points just once against league opponents and limited Sacred Heart to 45 points in a 16-point win last Thursday.
Fast Fact: The Mount is now 19-3 over its past 22 NEC regular season games at Knott Arena. Quinnipiac (4-4 NEC)
The Bobcats have struggled since losing senior forward Justin Rutty to an injury earlier this month. Quinnipaic was off to a 9-3 start, but has gone 3-4 without its star post player, including three straight losses heading into play on Thursday.
Fast Fact: All seven Quinnipiac setbacks on the year have come by 10 points or less. Saint Francis (PA) (4-4 NEC)
Following a 2-13 start, the Red Flash have turned things around thanks to some home cooking the last two weeks. Saint Francis has won four straight games – including a convincing 86-71 win over first place Long Island on Saturday – all of which took place at the Stokes Center.
Fast Fact: Saint Francis is 6-1 at home in 2010-11, but winless in 12 road games. Bryant (4-4 NEC)
Though ineligible for the NEC Tournament, the Bulldogs are already playing the role of spoiler with four wins in their last five outings after beginning the year 2-13. Bryant had its Division I-best four-game win streak snapped by Monmouth, which prevailed 81-76 in overtime on Saturday.
Fast Fact: Bryant plays six of its next seven games against teams it trails in the NEC standings.