By: Mary Lakhan

Saturday afternoon at the Pope Physical Education Center, Brooklyn Heights, NY, the St. Francis Brooklyn Men’s Basketball team edged the NJIT Highlanders 73-71.

Throughout the first half, the Terriers and Highlanders were head-to-head. In the fifth minute, the Highlanders took the lead with a good three-point shot by Caleb Matthew, starting a 6-0 run. They would maintain their lead for a short period as the Terriers soon took the lead with a good three-point shot from Rob Higgins with eight minutes and 16 seconds on the clock, 22-20. They would end the first half with a 37-33 lead.

In the second, Chauncey Hawkins with a good layup got things going for the Terriers as both teams were denied baskets during the first two minutes. The Highlanders equalized in the fifth minute on a 5-0 run, 41-41. Thereafter both teams were back-and-forth however with seven minutes and nine seconds on the clock, the Terriers managed to hold a seven-point lead over the Highlanders, 61-54. With three minutes and 17 seconds left, the Highlanders equalized (63-63) but the Terriers, not giving up, fought their way to the end finishing with a two-point lead, 73-71.

Junior guard Zach Cooks led the Highlands with a high of 24 points in 34 minutes. He recorded two rebounds, two assists and landed 11 of 13 shots at the free-throw line.

Senior guard Shquan Gibbs finished with 14 points, five rebounds, three assists and six of eight free-throws in 40 minutes of play.

Sophomore forward Souleymane Diakite and freshman guard Byron Breland III recorded a combined 16 points. Diakite finished with a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. He also assisted in four baskets and recorded two blocks in 29 minutes. Breland III finished with six points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes.

For the Terriers, junior Chauncey Hawkins led his team with 21 points in 28 minutes. He also grabbed three rebounds, assisted in two baskets and landed seven of nine shots at the free-throw line.

Rob Higgins

Freshman guard Rob Higgins recorded a career-high of 19 points. He also assisted in three baskets and landed four perfect shots at the free-throw line in 32 minutes.

 Sophomore guard Stevan Krtinic and junior guard Rosel Hurley finished with a combined 17 points. Krtinic record 14 points, two rebounds and two assists in 37 minutes. Hurley finished with three points and nine rebounds in 16 minutes of play.

The Terriers will be back in action on Sunday, December 22, at the Pope Physical Education Center as they host Delaware State to wrap up their Non-Conference schedule. Game tips off at 2 p.m.

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