NEC Daily Ball Screen: 12/20/21
So maybe the LIU staff is figuring out how to utilize their three bigs in an efficient manner after all?
The Sharks jumped out to an early 35-18 lead and never looked back, blowing out Army at the Steinberg Wellness Center 90-65. It's the 2nd time in two home games that LIU won by 25 points or more, and despite starting the season 0-4 and 1-7, Long Island has jumped to #255 at Kenpom (4th in the NEC), which is 2 spots higher than they were in the pre-season.
LIU, which came into the game shooting 28% from three, knocked down 16 of 36 from downtown, which correlated with 1.18ppp. Eral Penn had 23 points on 8 of 13 shooting; Ty Flowers had 17 points and 9 boards; and Isaac Kante was 6 of 9 from the field, plus 11 boards. However, it wasn't all about the forwards; Tre Wood had 7 assists against 2 turnovers (to go along with 11 points), Kyndall Davis went for 10/6, and Alex Rivera knocked down 3 of 6 from deep.
In 2 games at Steinberg Wellness Center, LIU is shooting 30 for 74 (40.5%) from three. In 7 road games, the Sharks have made just 26% of their 3P attempts. There's nothing like some home cookin'.
Long Island held Army to just 7 of 25 from downtown, plus the Black Knights made just 10 of 25 from the free throw line. Combine that with 18 turnovers (25%), and it's a surprise they managed even 0.86ppp. Army's best player, Jalen Rucker, was just 3 of 12 from the field.
LIU is clearly trending in the right direction as we head into NEC play.
UMass-Lowell 70, Sacred Heart 62
The Pios got sub-par games from both Tyler Thomas (4 of 18 from the field, 4 turnovers) and Aaron Clarke (0 for 5 from three, 3 turnovers), while UMass-Lowell shot 12 of 22 from downtown.
The Pioneers were able to keep this one close thanks to some stellar offensive rebounding (17, 38%Q), and the fact that they forced 14 UML turnovers (21%). However, Sacred Heart just couldn't knock down shots.
Nico Galette was SHU's best player Sunday, scoring 13 points on 10 field goal attempts, and grabbing 8 boards. Bryce Johnson had 8 points and 7 boards for the Pios, which finish up non-conference play with Hartford at home on Wednesday.
Delaware St. at Wagner, 7pm, NEC FrontRow
DSU is really bad. Like, #357 at Kenpom, winless against D1 competition, have lost by 10+ points in 7 of 8 D1 games bad. So this one is all about Wagner; thanks to a covid shut-down, as well as a break for finals, Wagner has played just 3 D1 games since 11/13, two of which were losses to P5 teams Seton Hall and Penn St. If I'm the Wagner coaching staff, I'm worried about rust, as well as a let-down. Ultimately; do they look like the team that blew out Stony Brook on December 4th?
Season Record: 16-19
Today's Bet: None
Vegas has Wagner -22.5, and even though it's a home game against potentially the worst team in D1, I just can't go there. The Seahawks haven't played many games, and that's an awfully high number. Could I see Wagner playing just "alright" and winning this one by 12 points or so? Sure. If this were Wagner -15 I'd be diving in, but not 20+.