Quite a night of NEC men’s hoops.The NEC playoff race is still muddled as it pertains to seeding, though we now know the eight postseason participants and the four teams who will be hosting NEC quarterfinal games. Before we get to deciphering the tiebreakers like the Zodiac code, congratulations must go out to Bryant freshman forward Alex Francis. You may remember the five-time NEC Choice Hotels NEC Rookie of the Week. A few weeks ago, he did this: But tonight he was in another stratosphere with a record-breaking performance in a 94-85 loss to Long Island. Francis stamped himself in the NEC recordbook after he exploded for 43 (!) points against the regular season champions. Let’s get to the superlatives: – Most points ever by an NEC freshman in a league game.
– Tied for ninth on the NEC’s all-time single-game list.
– Most points by an NEC competitor since LIU’s Antawn Dobie set the NEC record with 53 against St. Francis (NY) on February 22, 2003.
– His 20 FG is a new NEC single-game record. Quite a game. A high-five also goes out to Saint Francis (PA)’s Will Felder, who had a career-high 30 points and pulled down 13 boards in an 84-78 win over Wagner that clinched the Red Flash an NEC Tournament berth. And how about FDU’s Terence Grier, who racked up a career-best 34 points as FDU snapped a 14-game NEC losing streak with an 85-74 triumph at Sacred Heart. St. Francis (NY)’s Ricky Cadell scored 24 points as the Terriers stopped CCSU, 75-65, for their third straight win. Cadell is up to 1,602 career points and is now just 12 shy of establishing a new school record. Robert Morris utilized balanced scoring to come out on top in the latest chapter of its rivalry with Mount St. Mary’s, winning by a 65-57 final score on NEC-TV. The Colonials have won five in a row. LIU’s Jason Brickman continued his late season tear with 11 assists against just one turnover in its win over Bryant. The 11 dimes were the most by an NEC freshman since Courtney Pritchard had 11 for Wagner against Brown on November 17, 2000 and the most by an NEC rookie in a league game since Wagner’s Mick Wheeler had 16 versus FDU on February 21, 1998. Brickman is now the NEC leader with 5.3 apg. Finally, Quinnipiac senior forward Justin Rutty pulled down 17 rebounds in a 64-59 conquest of Monmouth and is just 11 boards shy of becoming the third player in NEC history to collect 1,000 for his career. Onto the playoff picture. Current Standings
1. LIU (15-2 NEC)
2. QU (12-5 NEC)
3. CCSU & RMU (11-6 NEC)
5. SFNY & WC (9-8 NEC)
7. MSM (8-9 NEC)
8. SFPA & BU (7-11 NEC)
10. MU & SHU (5-12 NEC)
12. FDU (3-14 NEC) Winners of nine straight, Long Island has clinched the #1 seed and home court advantage throughout its run in the NEC Tournament. Should the Blackbirds fall in the tourney, they will represent the NEC in the Postseason NIT. Quinnipiac has won five in a row and clinched the #2 seed. The Bobcats will host a quarterfinal game, and if they win, a semifinal game as well.
Central Connecticut State can clinch the #3 seed with a win over Long Island or a Robert Morris loss to Wagner. In that case, Robert Morris would be the #4 seed. RMU can claim the #3 seed with a win and a CCSU loss. Both CCSU and RMU will host an NEC quarterfinal game. St. Francis (NY) can earn the #5 seed with a win over Bryant or a Wagner loss to Robert Morris. Wagner can clinch the #5 seed with a win and a St. Francis (NY) loss. #6/#7 seed possibilities… – If St. Francis (NY) wins or Wagner loses, then the Seahawks are the #6 seed.
– If St. Francis (NY) loses, Wagner wins and Mount St. Mary’s wins, the Mount will be the #6 seed and St. Francis (NY) the #7 seed if Quinnipiac wins. The Mount can also be the #6 seed if Quinnipiac loses, and both CCSU and Robert Morris also fall. If Quinnipiac loses and either CCSU or Robert Morris win, then St. Francis (NY) is the #6 seed and Mount St. Mary’s the #7 seed.
– If St. Francis (NY) and Wagner lose, and Mount St. Mary’s wins, St. Francis (NY) is the #5 seed, Wagner is the #6 seed and Mount is the #7 seed. If Saint Francis (PA) beats Mount St. Mary’s, then the Red Flash are the #7 seed and the Mount will be the #8 seed. If Mount wins, then Saint Francis (PA) is the #8 seed. Just one more day of regular season play and all these scenarios will work themselves out and the field will be set. Be sure to catch an NEC tripleheader on MSG Network on Saturday. CCSU and Long Island meet in a doubleheader beginning with the women at 11:30 am. The men tipoff at 2:00 pm. Quinnipiac and FDU close out the slate with a 4:00 pm tipoff. At the end of the night on Saturday, check back on the NEC website for an updated tournament bracket. (Posted on February 24, 2011)