WRITTEN BY ROBERT DEVITA
Basketball: The Terriers go on the road to knock off the Central Connecticut Blue Devils 76-66.
Final: After a disappointing loss against the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers last Saturday, the Terriers get back on track with a very nice 76-66 victory over the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils. They came out tonight and played their style of basketball right from the opening tip. They forced a plethora of bad shots as well as turnovers which resulted in offensive opportunities for them.
Tonight was no different from any other night for the Terriers as they were led by leading scorer Junior forward Jalen Cannon. Cannon finished with his fifth double double on the season as he scored a game high 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Cannon was a force early on in this matchup as he did most of his damage in the first half, where he scored 14 of his 20 points. The Blue Devils were unable to find an answer for Cannon.
Terriers Junior guard Brent Jones had another great game as he too finished with a double double. He scored 12 points, including two clutch three’s which sealed the deal in this one. To go along with his 12 points, Jones dished out 11 assists. Over the past three games we have seen an emergence from Jones, as he is averaging 9.6 points per game and 10 assists per game. Over this three game stretch Jones has dished out a total of 30 assists and only has turned the ball over 4 times.
Tonight we saw feisty play from Jones as he was able to drive to the basket and create shots for his teammates. With Jones’s ability to get to the hoop, he was able to draw defenders to him and dish the ball out to his teammates for easy shots. We have seen fantastic play from Jones and it has been uplifting for the Terriers who are in need of another offensive threat besides Jalen Cannon.
We also saw some nice things from Sophomore guard Anthony White and Freshman forward Wayne Martin. White was the third Terrier to finish in double figures on this night as he scored 12 points, he also pulled down 6 rebounds. White was able to ice the game as he was 4-4 from the free throw line down the stretch. Martin had a strong game off the bench with 8 points 5 rebounds and 3 blocks. This was a much needed solid performance for Martin as he has been quiet of late after his fast start to his rookie campaign.
Senior guard Ben Mockford had another quiet game as he finished with 7 points on 2-7 from the field. Mockford got some good looks from three but was unable to convert in this one. After his career game against LIU Brooklyn, where we saw him drop 30 points on the Blackbirds, he has been off in his last two performances.
The story of the game for the Blue Devils was their sloppy play on the offensive side of the ball. The Terriers forced them to turn the ball over 17 times, it is virtually impossible to win when a team basically hands the ball over that many times.
They were led by Junior forward Faronte Drakeford who scored 18 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Drakeford was able to do some nice things on offense, he got to the hoop and hit some layups which was a bright spot for the Blue Devils who are in need of someone to step up on offense.
Junior guard Malcolm McMillan, had an up and down game for the Blue Devils. He scored 14 points, shooting 6-10 from the field and to go along with his 14 points he had 6 assists. The negative was that he turned the ball over 6 times, which is just unacceptable for any player.
Tonight’s win was a much needed one for the Terriers as it puts them at 11-7 overall on the season, with a 2-1 record in conference play. They need to find their groove and go on a nice little winning streak and break apart from the rest of the conference. They currently have the best overall record in the NEC but need to build up their conference record as they move forward.
Something to watch for is what happened to Freshman guard Sheldon Hagigal? He was absent from tonight’s game. Hagigal has been a big part in what the Terriers have done this season, he is a very good scorer off the bench so if he is suffering from injury, they hope not to miss him for long.
The Terriers have a quick turn around as they are back in action on Saturday, January 18th as they take on the Sacred Heart Pioneers at home at 5 P.M. This will be another marquee matchup as they look to knock off another conference opponent.
Halftime: Junior forward Jalen Cannon has lead the way once again for the Terriers in the first half of this one as they hold a 6 point lead over the Blue Devils. Cannon has had his way with the Blue Devils defense as he is shooting 6-10 from the field and 2-2 from behind the arc. He has completely dominated the first half of play as no one on the Blue Devils end has been able to guard him.
The Terriers have come out playing very physically on the defensive end of the ball. They have forced a total of 10 turnovers as well as a number of bad shots for the Blue Devils. The Blue Devils have already missed their leading scorer Junior guard Kyle Vinales, no one on their side of the ball seems to have the touch early on. They have been lead by Junior Guard Malcolm McMillan who has 8 points shooting 3-4 from the field.
For the Terriers we have again seen outstanding play from Junior guard Brent Jones. Jones has scored only 2 points but he has dished out a total of 6 assists in the first half. Jones continues to create, as his penetration to the basket has opened up some easy shots for Jalen Cannon. If Jones can continue to break down the Blue Devils defense that will just mean that Cannon will be on his way to another career night.
Besides Cannon’s 14 points no other Terrier has over 4 points. Senior guard Ben Mockford is off to another slow start as he is only 1-5 from the field with only 4 points. Mockford is key to the Terriers success, so look for him to try and get going early in the second half.
The Terriers need to just keep playing their game and control the style of play in this one. They must continue to force turnovers and bad shots for the Blue Devils on the defensive end. It would be nice for someone besides Jalen Cannon to step up and knock down some shots on offense. He has been the entire offense up until this point.
Something to note is that we have not seen Freshman guard Sheldon Hagigal in this matchup. Hagigal has been a solid contributor for the Terriers all season long, so not seeing him on the floor is a bit surprising.