With about one second showing on the clock and St. Francis College and Manhattan College tied at 73-73 in the five minute overtime session, Jamaal Womack tried a desperation three pointer that went in for the winner to enable the host Terriers from downtown Brooklyn to snap their 12-game losing streak and post their first win of the season. The crowd was treated to an exciting close game with no team holding more than a seven point bulge at any time. As soon as I got the ball, I dribbled it up the court, was guarded by 14 (Antoine Pearson), drove to the basket and when he gave me two inches I shot the three from the baseline, Womack assessed about his shot. In a previous game earlier this season against the University of Texas at El Paso, Womack missed a basket that would have tied the game. At that time, assistant coach Robert Blackwell told him after that game, Dont worry about that; youll make a game winner during the year that will help us. Eleven games later Womack won a game with his long-range shot. They (St. Francis) played a very good game, Jaspar Coach Barry Rohrssen said. I want to give them credit. They made very timely shots. Playing a tough schedule that featured games against such colleges as Syracuse, Penn, UMass, Fordham, St. Johns and Hofstra during the first month of the season was brutal for the Terriers. We came here (into the gym during such a time) and practiced for three hours, the 58 guard said. We lost by two, three and four points. We had tough times. Enough is enough. We scheduled very tough games, Head Coach Brian Nash said. We didnt gain our confidence to start the season out. But weve progressively have gotten better. Coming into the game and at home, the players believed that the Manhattan game will be in the Terriers favor. The Terriers had two tremendous practices during the week of the game, and were able to put it all together in a great victory before the Christmas holiday weekend. Last year, in his first year wearing a Terrier uniform in action, Womack averaged about six points a game as a set up player. For this, his second season on the team, Nash has been stepping up his role and thus relying more on him. Womack is a junior but still has two more years of eligibility left after this season. It has (now) been a roller coaster season for me, Womack continued. He has scored 20 points in one game against Fordham, six, seven, three and four during the season. Against Manhattan he scored his season high of 21 points. Nash wants me to score 11 to 15 points a game, Womack added.. I have not been doing what I need to do. He wants me to take very opportunity that I have and pursue it. I want for us to have a better season than we had last year, especially in the (Northeast) conference. Since we got the monkey off our back, I think that we can get more wins and make some noise in the conference. I was very proud of our players, Nash added. When you lose your first 12 games its very tough. I like to keep them motivated. We finished our final examinations yesterday (a week ago Wednesday). It was jubilating getting our first win (over Manhattan), added Terrier Assistant Coach Robert Blackwell, who played at Bishop Ford from 1988 to 1992 under Ray Nash, who was in attendance at the game. We got it at home in front of a lot of alumni. Everything went our way. The non-league game marked the return to Brooklyn and St. Francis College of the coaching staff. Now they are members of the staff of Manhattan College. Jaspar Head Coach Rohrssen played and was assistant coach at St. Francis College, and played at Xaverian High School; Ron Ganulin played at Long Island University and coached the Terriers. Assistant coach Edgar De La Rosa starred at Bishop Ford, where he also coached, and is a member of the St. Francis College Athletic Hall of Fame. Another assistant, John Alesi is the son of veteran Xaverian Varsity Coach Jack Alesi. John played at Xaverian. Coming back to St. Francis is a special place for me because I had so many wonderful memories as a student, as an athlete and as a coach, Rohrssen said. Dennis McDermott invited a lot of basketball alumni and concentrated on teams that Rohrssen and De La Rosa played on, Athletic Director Ed Aquilone said. We had about 140 alumni here, said McDermott, a former player at St. Francis College. We had a great turnout and were excited. We are glad to see people here for a happy occasion. We had a good, solid basketball game. A reunion like this is wonderful, said one alumni Richie Dreyer, Class of 61. We had a nice crowd to support both teams. I, myself, coached at one time at Pace College. A lot of us who came out of St. Francis went on to coach somewhere.
©2007 Community News Group
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