WRITTEN BY ROBERT DEVITA
Basketball: The Terriers look to get back on the winning track with a victory tonight on the road against the Sacred Heart Pioneers.
Preview: After a couple of tough losses at the hands of Fairleigh Dickinson University and Bryant University in their last two matchups, tonight the Terriers must take care of business against Sacred Heart. With the little two game skid the Terriers are on, it has dropped their record to (12-9) overall and (3-3) in NEC play.
With only ten games remaining every game is as important as the last. Currently the Terriers sit in fourth place in the NEC behind Robert Morris, Bryant University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Tonight is the night to get back on track and there is no better way to do it then on live television. Tonight’s game will air live at 6 PM on the MSG Network.
The Terriers opponents are the Sacred Heart Pioneers, who come into tonight’s affair sitting in last place in the NEC with a (4-17, 1-5 NEC) record. Based on records alone, one may look at this game and say it will be a walk in the park for the Terriers, but that is far from the truth. Despite the Pioneers record, they play hard from the opening tip to the final buzzer, this is a pesky team that won’t just let the Terriers walk onto their home court and embarrass them.
In the teams last meeting on January 18th, the Pioneers gave the Terriers a run for their money as St. Francis squeaked away with a 74-71 victory. The Terriers know that they will get all Sacred Heart has tonight, so they must be prepared for a very physical matchup.
The Terriers last time out was on Saturday when they took on the Bryant University Bulldogs. They would come up a little short in this one falling 83-79, as the Bulldogs showed they may be the team to beat in the NEC, improving their conference record to (5-1). Terriers Junior forward Jalen Cannon was only limited to 9 points on 2-5 shooting in this one.
Junior guard Brent Jones continues his outstanding play, Jones went for a season high of 20 points while dishing out 5 assists, grabbing 5 rebounds and racking up 3 steals. Jones has been a spark for the Terriers squad who have been in need of another offensive weapon to go along with Junior forward Jalen Cannon and Senior guard Ben Mockford. Over the last six games Jones is averaging 10.1 points and 9.3 assists per game.
The most impressive part about this stretch is that Jones has dished out a total of 56 assists and only turned the ball over a total of 10 times. With Jones playing at such a high level, it makes everyone around him much better, look for his name to be called early and often in this one.
Senior Guard Ben Mockford has been shooting lights out of late. Over the last three games Mockford has shot a combine 16-28 from behind the arc which is 57%, that is well above his season average of 41%. Mockford’s three point shooting ablility opens up holes in the defense, when he is hot he can knock down the three ball with the best of them. Look for Mockford to have a big night as he scored 23 points shooting 8-9 from the field and 7-8 from three in the last meeting against Sacred Heart.
On the Sacred Heart end of the ball the Terriers mush watch out for Senior forward Louis Montes who is averaging 12.3 points per game and Junior guard Chris Evans who averages 12.1 points per game.
To go along with these two, the Terriers also have to control Junior guard Phil Gaetano, who had a very solid game against the Terriers in their last meeting where he scored 7 points and dished out 12 assists.
The Terriers need to take this one, it is a pivotal conference matchup for them since they just dropped back to back conference affairs. There should be no issue tonight for the Terriers as they look to pick up a big conference victory. Tune in to MSG for live coverage at 6 PM.