ROUNDBALL DAILY

Championship Week 2013: Northeast Conference First-Round Recap

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The best time of the year is here. Championship Week is the official start of March Madness, and teams are already having their hearts broken in their valiant dream of landing in the bracket. The action starts with the Northeast Conference, which staged four quarterfinal games tonight. It figured to be a rough-and-tumble tournament, with five teams finishing within a game of second place:

250px-Northeast_Conference_logo-1.svg Northeast Conference

Regular Season Standings:

1. Robert Morris (23-9, 14-4)
2. Wagner (19-11, 12-6)
3. Long Island University-Brooklyn (18-13, 12-6)
4. Bryant (19-11, 12-6)
5. Mount St. Mary’s (17-13, 11-7)
6. Quinnipiac (15-16, 11-7)
7. Central Connecticut State (13-17, 9-9)
8. Saint Francis (NY) (12-18, 8-10)

Tournament Scores: (3/6)

 (1) Robert Morris 75,  (8) Saint Francis (NY) 57. 

Associated Press Recap:
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Karvel Anderson scored 20 points to help top-seeded Robert Morris blow out eighth-seeded St. Francis Brooklyn 75-57 in the quarterfinal round of the Northeast Conference tournament Wednesday night.

Russell Johnson scored 19 points, Lucky Jones added 16, and both grabbed seven boards for Robert Morris (23-9), which claimed its fourth regular-season title in the past six years.

The Colonials shot 45.2 percent (14 of 31) in the first half compared to St. Francis’ 33.3 percent (8 of 24).

Johnson had 12 points in the period and Robert Morris led at halftime 37-23.

The Colonials led by double figures the entire second half and were up by as many as 23 points.

Robert Morris turned St. Francis’ 17 miscues into a 20-3 advantage in points off turnovers.

Jalen Cannon and Dre Calloway were the only two players in double figures for St. Francis (12-18), with 15 points and 14 points, respectively.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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 (2) Wagner 72,   (7) Central Connecticut State 50

Associated Press Recap:

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Jonathon Williams scored 20 points to push second-seeded Wagner past seventh-seeded Central Connecticut State 72-50 Wednesday night in the quarterfinal round of the Northeast Conference tournament.

Marcus Burton added 15 points and Latif Rivers chipped in 10 to help Wagner (19-11) win its fourth straight game.

On top 15-12, the Seahawks closed out the half on a 17-7 run to take a 32-19 lead into halftime. Williams scored 13 points in the first half, and Central Connecticut State shot just 22.2 percent (6 of 27) in the period.

Wagner opened the second half on a 14-7 run to go up 46-26 with 14:31 left to play. The Seahawks led by double digits the entire second half and went up by as many as 23 points.

Wagner outrebounded Central Connecticut State 56-40 and outscored them in the paint 38-20.

Kyle Vinales scored 23 points for the Blue Devils (13-17).

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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  (3) Long Island 91,    (6) Quinnipiac 86

Associated Press Recap:

NEW YORK — C.J. Garner tied his career high with 30 points and LIU Brooklyn rallied from a nine-point deficit late in the second half to defeat Quinnipiac 91-83 Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the Northeast Conference tournament.

The third-seeded Blackbirds (18-13) beat the sixth-seeded Bobcats (15-16) for the second time in five days, also winning 96-90 on March 2.

There were 16 ties and 17 lead changes.

Quinnipiac, which came in having won seven of its past nine games, led 72-63 with 7:57 left. After a 12-3 Blackbirds run tied it 75-75, the game was knotted for the final time at 80 with 2:45 remaining.

LIU Brooklyn pulled away by scoring six straight points, capped by Kenny Onyechi‘s dunk with 46 seconds left.

The Blackbirds made 29 of 40 free throw attempts, with four Quinnipiac players fouling out.

Ousmane Drame led the Bobcats with a career-high 23 points off the bench.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

RoundballDaily Notes: The refs screwed this game up and fouled out six players, including the NEC Player of the Year Jamal Olasewere and Quinnipiac’s four leading scorers.

Also, Spike Lee was at the game, sitting courtside under the LIU basket.

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 (5) Mount St. Mary’s 75,   (4) Bryant 69

Associated Press Recap:

SMITHFIELD, R.I. — Rashad Whack scored 19 points and Mount St. Mary’s won its eighth straight game by rallying from an eight-point second-half deficit to defeat Bryant 75-69 Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the Northeast Conference tournament.

The Mountaineers (17-13), seeded fifth, made 26 of 27 free throws, including 15 of 15 in the second half, while the Bulldogs were just 11 of 15.

No. 4-seeded Bryant led 36-28 with 19:07 remaining.

Julian Norfleet‘s two straight jumpers sparked an 11-3 Mount St. Mary’s run, tying it at 39. The lead went back and forth until the Mountaineers scored six consecutive points for a 53-48 lead with 7:35 left.

After the Bulldogs got to 65-61 with 2:48 to go, Shivaughn Wiggins made a layup and Mount St. Mary’s made 8 of 8 foul shots in the final 1:28 to seal it.

Wiggins finished with 16 points.

Alex Francis led Bryant (19-11) with 25 points.

 

 

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