The St. Francis Terriers and LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds wrapped up their respective seasons on Monday night as the Terriers beat the Blackbirds 66-50 in the 21st annual Battle of Brooklyn that was held in Brooklyn Heights. It was the first time the Terriers have swept the Battle since the 2004-05 season.
Both teams are headed to the Northeast Conference playoffs with the Terriers in fifth place with a 19-10 overall record and 10-8 in NEC play and the Blackbirds in eighth place with a 9-20 overall record and 7-11 in conference. The Terriers finished one win short having a home court playoff game and will head to Bryant on March 9. The Blackbirds head to Robert Morris on the same day.
“It feels really good,” St. Francis’ Sarah Benedetti said of making the playoffs. “It would have been nice to play at home because, as our record shows, we’re really good here. I think we’re a good enough team to play anywhere and come out on top.”
Benedetti led the Terriers with 25 points, Jasmin Robinson had 14 points and six assists and Leah Fechko had 10 points. The team’s leading scorer, Eilidh Simpson, played just nine minutes.
“It is hard having one of your best players go down, but as a team we stepped up and kept playing our Terrier basketball,” Benedetti said of not having Simpson. “We need to focus on our philosophy of basketball. The goal is to go all the way and make it to the NCAA.”
Sophie Bhasin led the Blackbirds with 21 points and five rebounds and Cleandra Roberts had 10 points and seven boards.
The Blackbirds grabbed an early 12-8 lead when Bhasin hit a jumper. Benedetti hit a three to cut that lead to one and Robinson gave them the lead with when she hit a layup. St. Francis followed that up with a 22-4 run to build a 14-point lead. The Terriers had control of the game for 20 minutes after that and it wasn’t until there was 4:29 left when Roberts hit a layup to cut the lead to five. Katie Fox hit a three to start a 14-3 run that finished off the game.
The Terriers set a program records with their 19th win, 12 home wins and 10 NEC wins.