WRITTEN BY DAVID MENZE
Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. — St. Mary’s couldn’t Mount a comeback as the Terriers of St. Francis College got back to their winning ways by beating their Northeast Conference rival 79-60.
Two terrific Terrier triumphs were tallied on Saturday as both the Men’s and Women’s squad’s chalked up W’s in the win column against NEC rivals.
Before the Men’s game, SFC Women’s basketball ended their 13-game skid by beating Wagner 48-34. Sophomore point guard Jasmin Robinson scored a team-high 13 points in the victory.
The Terrier Men took notes from the Women and cruised to a 19-point victory improving to 9-10 (6-2 in NEC play) this season.
St. Francis led 35-17 at halftime and increased that lead in the second-half to 26 points with less than seven minutes to play in regulation.
With the loss, Mount St. Mary’s falls to 4-15 (2-6 in NEC play) this season.
Stefan Perunicic led the Terriers with 21 points (7-of-8 shooting) while Jalen Cannon recorded his fourth double-double this season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Brent Jones and P.J. Santavenere, who scored a career-high 11 points in the contest, were the other two players who posted double-figures for the Terriers as they combined for 24 points and nine assists.
Despite also having four players who paced 10-plus points, Mount St. Mary’s leading scorer, Julian Norfleet, only managed a team-high 14 points in 34 minutes of play. As a team, the Mount only made 14.3 percent (2-of-14) of their long-distance shots.
St. Francis turned the game into a shooting clinic as they connected on an astonishing 56.3 percent (9-of-16) of their shots from behind the arc while shooting 55.3 percent (26-of-47) from the field overall. They also converted 75 percent (18-of-24) of their free-throw attempts.
The Terriers outrebounded the Mount to the tune of a 33-24 margin, the ninth straight game they have outworked their opponent on the glass.
SFC’s next game is Jan. 26 on the road against St. Francis University (PA).
St. Francis’ shooting clinic continued in the second half as the Terriers shot drastically better in the final 20 minutes of play. Free-throw percentage went up almost 50 percent in the second half as St. Francis connected on 17-of-21 (81%) attempts. They also converted 60 percent of their field goals (12-of-20) and shots from three-point land (3-of-5).
Mount St. Mary’s also shot better in every category in the second half but couldn’t cut the one-time 26-point deficit in time to mount a comeback.
Final: St. Francis 79 – Mount St. Mary’s 60
1:51 – Terriers take 77-57 lead after Douglas makes 1-of-2 free-throws.
2:27 – MSM’s trails 73-56 after calling a timeout.
3:33 – St. Francis takes 71-52 lead after MSM sinks two foul-shots.
4:30 – SFC leads 69-48 after media timeout.
5:39 – Mount St. Mary’s down 65-46 after quick 4-0 spurt.
6:44 – Terriers take 65-42 lead after MSM timeout.
7:38 – Mount trails 60-39 after official timeout.
9:00 – SFC takes largest lead of game, 58-34, after Jone’s drive and score.
11:00 – St. Francis leads 52-33 after Matt Milk’s put-back.
12:16 – Terriers lead 48-31 after Perunicic’s three-point make.
14:42 – MSM’s down 45-27 after Owens hits 1-of-2 foul-shots.
16:15 – SFC up 43-23 after 5-0 run.
17:40 – MSM’s trails 38 – 23 as teams trade buckets to start the second half.
St. Francis is shooting lights out so far as senior Stefan Perunicic leads the team with 13 points (5-of-6 from the field) at intermission.
As a team, the Terriers are shooting a blazing 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from behind the arc and a sizzling 51.9 percent (14-of-27) from the field overall thus far.
Mount St. Mary’s has yet to post a player in double-figures. They are only shooting 29.2 percent from the field overall and have yet to knock down a three-pointer (0-7).
St. Francis has nine assists in the first half while Mount St. Mary’s only has one assist.
Halftime: St. Francis 35 – Mount. St. Mary’s 17
1:18 – Mount trails 33-16 after made field-goal.
2:18 – SFC up 33-14 after Cannon’s crowd-roaring slam-dunk.
4:37 – Terriers take 30-13 lead after Technical foul called on MSM’s Head Coach.
8:25 – St. Francis takes 26-10 lead after 9-4 run by Terriers capped off by Nichols’ three-pointer.
10:26 – Perunicic hits three-pointer as SFC leads 17-6.
11:30 – Terriers up 14-6 after Nichols’ jumper.
11:45 – St. Mary’s cuts lead to 12-6 after field-goal from Castellanos.
12:42 – MSM calls timeout after Perunicic hits foul-line jumper to put St. Francis up 12-4.
13:08 – Jones hits long-distance shot and puts SFC up 10-4.
15:40 – Terriers take 7-4 on three-point make from Perunicic.
16:12 – Mount’s Kelvin Parker ties score 4-4.
17:27 – Terriers reclaim lead, 4-2, after lay-up by Jones.
18:20 – MSM’s ties score, 2-2, after bucket by Krajina.
19:23 – St. Francis takes early 2-0 lead after basket by Johnson.
The Terriers trail the all-time series by a 27-26 margin.
St. Francis defeated the Mount, 64-54, on December 1st on the road in Emmetsburg, Maryland. Sophomore shooting guard Ben Mockford had a team-high 19 points and senior forward Stefan Perunicic chipped in with 14 points and three steals.
St. Francis had won four straight games until falling at home, 73-61, to the Wagner Seahawks on Thursday. The Terriers led 37-34 at halftime but shot just 38 percent in the second-half and finished with a game-high 23 turnovers.
Perunicic scored 16 points as junior Akeem Johnson assisted with 13 points and freshman forward added 11 points and 9 rebounds in the contest.
Over their past five games the Terriers are shooting 50 percent from the field, 37 percent from behind the arc, and 82 percent from the foul-line.
Cannon produced double-doubles in both games last week and was named the NEC Rookie of the Week. He now has three double-doubles on the season.
Cannon is now 6th on the circuit in rebounding (7.6 pg.) and is fourth in offensive boards per game (3.41). The power forward is averaging 10.6 points and 9.4 rebounds since being inserted into the starting lineup on New Year’s Eve against Army. St. Francis is 4-2 since his promotion.
Perunicic is averaging 16.6 points over the last five games and is shooting 56 percent (19-34) from behind the arc during the stretch. Perunicic has climbed to 14th in the league in scoring (13.3 ppg.) and he’s now tied with teammate Ben Mockford in 3-point field goals per game (2.78).
Perunicic is the NEC’s active leader with 257 long-range bombs and is second on the all-time school list.
Sophomore point guard Brent Jones made his first collegiate start on Thursday against Wagner. Jones is averaging 10.8 points and 4.4 rebounds over his last five contests.
Sophomore center Matt Milk has erased an early-season slow start by hitting 16 of his last 21 field goal attempts (76 percent).