NEC play provides optimism for struggling Terriers basketball
by Bryan Fonseca
Dec 28, 2016 | 4133 views | 0 0 comments | 330 330 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Glenn Sanabria (Photo: Jeffrey Armstrong)
Glenn Sanabria (Photo: Jeffrey Armstrong)
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Yunus Hopkinson (Photo: Jeffrey Armstrong)
Yunus Hopkinson (Photo: Jeffrey Armstrong)
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Olivia Levey (Photo: SFC Athletics)
Olivia Levey (Photo: SFC Athletics)
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Maria Palarino (Photo: SFC Athletics)
Maria Palarino (Photo: SFC Athletics)
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Rasheem Dunn (Photo: Jeffrey Armstrong)
Rasheem Dunn (Photo: Jeffrey Armstrong)
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At (2-11) and (2-9), respectively, the St. Francis-Brooklyn basketball squads are focusing on the upcoming Northeast Conference portion of their schedules after running through considerably tough non-league action.

For the men, going into their 2016-17 campaign, it was understood what challenges would await a largely new look roster when the schedule read “at North Carolina State,” "at University of Virginia,” and “at Providence College” to start the season.

Immediately afterward, the Terriers recorded their first win of the season, a 97-91 anti-defensive display over the Savannah State in the “B” portion of the Emerald Coast Classic.

Since then, the team has gone (1-8), with their only win coming against Division III Mount Saint Vincent on December 7.

The men have also suffered a number of close defeats on their home floor to Lafayette by two, Manhattan College by seven, and most recently, Saint Peter’s by seven.

They’re looking to snap a four-game losing skid this Thursday as they’ll tip-off NEC play against the Bryant Bulldogs at home at 4 p.m.

Following that December 29th affair, the Terrier men will also host the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils on New Year’s Eve, which is also a 4 p.m. start.

Before each of those games, the Terriers’ women’s squad will host those same two programs at 1 p.m., beginning their NEC contests.

To start-off their season, the Terriers were defeated by the James Madison Dukes, which has become one of the best mid-majors in the country and perennial dancers in the NCAA Tournament on the women’s side.

The Terriers broke through for their first victory in their home opener, an 87-78 outpacing of Monmouth.

After falling to Loyola, the Terriers traveled to Colorado to take part in the Omni Classic, where they were met by the hosting Colorado Buffaloes, followed by the Boston College Eagles, both defeats.

The women recently snapped a six-game losing skid with a home victory over Saint Peter’s on Sunday, December 11, and have since lost to two of the best teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in Iona and Rider.

In non-NEC play, the Terrier men have been led in large part by their three standout guards: redshirt sophomore Glenn Sanabria, senior Yunus Hopkinson and freshman Rasheem Dunn.

Sanabria, who started all six of his appearances last season before taking a medical redshirt due to a season-ending shoulder injury, is posting 14.1 points per contest, a team-high.

His three-point stroke currently serves as the team’s most efficient, as he hits 37.2 percent from beyond the arc. Sanabria recorded a career-high 30 points in the aforementioned victory over Savannah State.

Hopkinson, who earned All-NEC Third Team honors last season, which was his first shot at significant playing time, has upped his scoring slightly to 13.1 points per game.

Thus far, Hopkinson’s 33 three-point makes currently serve as the team lead, edging Sanabria by one. At 3.0 assists per contest, Hopkinson also leads the team in dimes per game.

Dunn, a true freshman who was an integral part of Thomas Jefferson High School’s historic State Championship run last season, is averaging 12.1 points per game as the Terriers’ sixth man.

Dunn has already had three 20-point showings this season, quickly establishing himself as a premier scoring threat for the Red and Blue.

To this point in the season, the women have been led by senior forward Olivia Levey, who averages a team-best 12.6 points per contest on 45.2 percent shooting. She’s also moved up to second in rebounding with 5.8 boards per game, and leads the team in steals with 14.

For the first time in her career, Levey was also named NEC Player of the Week for her performances against Manhattan College (20 points, three rebounds) and Saint Peter’s (19 points, six rebounds).

Sophomore guard Maria Palarino netted a career-high 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the team’s most recent game at Rider, and she’s second on the team with 10.5 points per game.

Her 6.8 rebounds per game currently lead the team, as does her field goal percentage (56.3 percent) and her three-point percentage (50 percent).

Each unit will play 18 NEC games in an effort to ultimately alter their season outlook.

Led by teams with a combined six scholarship upperclassmen (three seniors each), it will be interesting to see where St. Francis-Brooklyn stands in two months, and if they can overcome any additional growing pains that might be on the horizon.





Follow Bryan Fonseca on Twitter at @BryanFonsecaNYC.
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