TERRIERS GO TO NIT

St. Francis forward Jalen Cannon (5) shoots over Robert Morris forward Andre Frederick (33) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Northeast Conference tournament, Tuesday, March 10, 2015, in New York. Roger Morris won, 66-63.
Associated Press / John Minchillo

What a year for the Terrier basketball team at St. Francis College of Brookyn. At the beginning of the season their eyes were set on going all the way and earning an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. And they almost did it but fell four points short of the miracle.

Congratulations to Head Coach Glen Braica and his staff for a job wll done.

First, for the season ending awards as voted upon the coaches in the Northeast Conference. Jalen Cannon was named Player of the Year in the Conference. Then Amdy Fall was named Defensive Player of the Year. And finally Bracia was named Coach of the Year in the Northeast Conference.

The Terriers captured first place in the league during the regular season with a league record of 15-3. In the Conference tournament, at the end of the season, they fell in the final game of the playoffs to Robert Morris, 66-63 in a real thriller down to the closing seconds. Now they enter into the National Invitation Tournament with a 23-11 record. Depending upon the field of the NIT, the Terriers could be a favorite to be a serious challenger if they get ‘it’ all together.

The combination of guard Brent Jones feeding the ball to Cannon – and what a year that he turned in – earned the duo first team honors on the all-league team. This duo will be graduating in June and will certainly be missed.

What an exhibition they put on during the season and even in the deciding game of the playoff tournament, which they turned in 2-1 record. They tried to hang in there during the finale of the tourney, but too many mistakes and turnovers hurt them in the second half when Robert Morris dominated action.

“They (Robert Morris) did a very good job in the zone of adjusting and gave us trouble of getting the ball into the zone; and gave us trouble of getting getting the ball to Jalen,” the veteran coach said. “They did a good job of taking away our inside game. That’s our strength.”

Robert Morris forward Lionel Gomis (1) shoots over St. Francis forward Amdy Fall (32) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Northeast Conference tournament, Tuesday, March 10, 2015, in New York. Robert Morris won, 66-63.
Associated Press / John Minchillo

The coaching staff was still very proud of themselves and of the players.

“We had a nice streak of wins(during the season),” Braica said after the three point loss. That’s what those guys can take with them. They put their stamp on the program. People will respect (the program.”)

Led by the all-around team of offense, defense, back court play, and rebounding, the Terriers put together one of the best rebounding teams in the league during the season, but they didn’t show it during the in the setback at the hands of Robert Morris.

As for the attendance a capacity crowd of 1013 fans combined fromboth colleges turned out for a televised game. And the crowd was just ‘electric.’ They were cheering on almost every play.

And on their effort in the setback, it was very disappointing at the end result. “We’re all down,” continued the head coach. “But I’m also proud of the guys as we’ve had a great run. We won 23 of 34 games and we are proud of their record. We fell short of our ultimate goal.”

The play of the Terriers were the talk of the basketball season during the spring and winter. They surprised many of the fans and basketball followers.

Now it’s the National Invitation Tournament when capacity crowds will be following the Terriers.

Robert Morris guard Kavon Stewart (3) loses the ball as St. Francis forward Jalen Cannon (5) and guard Brent Jones (1) scramble towards it during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Northeast Conference tournament, Tuesday, March 10, 2015, in New York. Roger Morris won, 66-63.
Associated Press / John Minchillo

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