LORETTO, Pa. – If the St. Francis University men’s basketball team can come up with some sort of collective New Year’s resolution, it would be to find New Years solutions, according to Red Flash coach Rob Krimmel.
âWe have to identify the problem, but then we have to find the solutions,â Krimmel said.
Despite narrowing a 19-point second-half deficit to just four, the Red Flash finished 2021 on a four-game losing streak Friday afternoon at DeGol Arena by abandoning a 70-62 decision against Fairleigh Dickinson, previously winless.
St. Francis has never led, falling to 4-9 overall and 0-2 in the Northeastern Conference as he prepares to embark on a four-game road trip. The Red Flash will no longer play at home until January 21.
This is the first time the Red Flash have lost three consecutive home games since 2016-17.
In a break from the routine, Krimmel made no players available for the post-match press conference and took more than half an hour after the final buzzer to speak to his team.
âA disappointing way to end 2021,â Krimmel said. âYou’re going to have a hard time.
“In our last three games, against Wagner, I think we played hard enough and together enough to at least give each other a chance, but in the Robert Morris game and this game, I don’t think we played as loud for 40 minutes as we needed.
âI was certainly disappointed with the way we played. “
Max Land and Josh Cohen scored 15 points each to lead the Red Flash, who shot just 35.5% and missed 15 of their first 21 shots within 5 feet of the bucket.
St. Francis was within eight with the ball with about 40 seconds left, but Ramiir Dixon-Conover and Land couldn’t sink their 3-pointers.
Fairleigh Dickinson shot 47.5% from the field, becoming the 11th team this season to score 66 or more against the Flash and the eighth to reach 70. The Knights’ Brandon Rush topped all scorers with 22 points and his teammate. Sebastian Lamaute recorded a double-brace of 14 points and 15 rebounds.
St. Francis was also not doing himself a favor by missing nine of his 24 shots on goal.
âWe have shown signs. We put ourselves in a position to win a few games and have been close a few times but consistency is what we are looking for, âsaid Krimmel. “It’s a fine line between winning and losing, but the margin is huge.”
The John Square layup at 4:20 PM of the second half culminated in an 18-4 run to give the Knights a 46-27 lead.
Land, however, found a loose ball in the stride and retrieved it from halfway for a layup that brought the Flash down to 58-54 with 5:42 to go.
It was only a six-point margin after a few free throws from Cohen at 3:43, but it took more than 90 seconds for St. Francis to score again.
âI’ll give our guys credit. They’ve fought back in a few of those games and put themselves in a position to get possession, âKrimmel said,â but we have to start games like we’re 16 behind, with that sense of urgency. “
Krimmel said he didn’t raving and raving in the locker room after the game, nor did he remove players from the post-match presser as a penalty.
âI wanted them to have the chance to sit down and talk,â Krimmel said. “I wanted them to start identifying the solutions.”
Krimmel also felt that the next road trip could be just what the team needs right now.
âIt’s a great opportunity to bond. It’s a great chance for the team chemistry, âsaid Krimmel. âIt’s just us on this bus. It’s just us in this hotel. It’s just us in this restaurant.
Fairleigh Dickinson made a living on the inside, scoring eight in the paint to take a 10-4 lead before the media’s first timeout. St. Francis scored just six points in his first 15 possessions, missing 10 of his first 12 shots, including half a dozen in the restricted area.
âUnfortunately,â Krimmel said, âto start the game we dug a hole too deep.â
Searching for answers, Krimmel seemed to find one momentarily when he put the 6-9 Flagg and 6-10 Cohen on the floor together. The formation immediately paid off with a 3 on a corner-to-corner pass from Giles to Land, and St. Francis settled what had been a 12 point difference at 25-21 on the layup. by Cohen on a Dixon-Conover feed.
The Knights, however, regrouped and scored the last six points of the first half.
âWhen your back to the wall,â Krimmel said, âyou really learn a lot about yourself. “