Saint Francis didn't do near enough to stop Wagner from jumping out to a quick lead in a 69-54 loss. Underdog road squads just cannot afford to fall behind early like the Red Flash did in Thursday evening's loss. Wagner meanwhile showed why it's the best team in the Northeast Conference. Here are three takeaways from the game.
1. Saint Francis just couldn't stop the Seahawks offensively
Corey Henson came out of the gates ready to set the Spiro Sports Center aflame. Henson scored 9 of the Seahawks first 13 points, all of which came on 3-pointers which helped pace Wagner out to a 13-4 lead. Wagner maintained a double-digit lead for almost the entirety of the half and only began to be slowed when SFU employed a zone later in the half.
After SFU narrowed the deficit on a Ben Millaud-Meunier 3-pointer to 39-33, Wagner responded. Wagner scored the next several baskets to go back up 12. Wagner led by as much as 20 on its way to a comfortable victory.
2. Wagner is the best team in the NEC
For a team that has yet to win 20 games and has lost five in NEC play, you would think it wouldn't be so obvious that Wagner is the best team in the conference. But it is. And tonight made it crystal clear. In a conference where every other team possesses a losing record, Wagner continues to make statement wins like this one.
The 'Hawks sagged on Ronnie Drinnon early to dare SFU to beat it them from beyond the arc, and that they did not. The Flash went 6-22 from beyond the arc as Wagner held SFU to 34.6 percent from the floor.
Henson had his swell night and guard Michael Carey put up a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards. Wagner's size factored in as it outrebounded SFU by a 45-31 margin. That will get things done.
Wagner has hit something resembling a spurt and has won six of its last eight game which includes now a four-game win streak at the right time of the season. On a night when Mount Saint Mary's lost its seventh NEC game, Wagner sits a full two games ahead in the conference.
3. Saint Francis better, but still needs something to take next step
For a program that has put up its best season in about 12 years, SFU has to feel great about where it stands in 2016. The Red Flash showed resilience in a road win against the conference's best team despite losing by 15.
The Red Flash have functioned on a guard-heavy offense in recent years and not that much has changed this year. However, Ronnie Drinnon has figured more heavily into the offense and on the boards, giving SFU a better chance to compete towards a .500 record, something it hasn't done since 2005. Greg Brown scored 15 points but did so on 14 shots.