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Notebook (1-7): SFU hoops loses; school won’t play football this season

Update: 9:45 p.m.

The Saint Francis men’s basketball team played for the first time since Dec. 8 and came up just short Thursday night at Long Island, 78-75.

The Red Flash have lost five straight games since opening the season with an upset at Pitt.

The team was rusty at the start Thursday night and fell behind 19-4. Still, the Flash regrouped and actually battled all the way back to take a 39-38 lead at the half.

The second half remained close, and LIU led 75-73 when Saint Francis’ Myles Thompson tried a 3-point for the lead with 31 seconds left. The ball hit off the rim and nearly bounced in, but it missed, and LIU got the rebound.

Ronell Giles Jr. pulled the Flash within 76-75 on a bucket with 13 seconds to go. LIU missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but it got an offensive rebound and then hit two free throws for a 78-75 edge with 9 seconds left.

Up by three in the closing seconds, LIU fouled, and Saint Francis missed the 1-and-1 to end its hopes.

Giles led Saint Francis with 19 points off the bench. Thompson had 14, while Mark Flagg and Maxwell Land had 11 apiece. Ty Flowers led LIU with 21 points.

The two teams will play again Friday at 4 p.m.

This is SFU coach Rob Krimmel’s postgame press conference. He talked about the game, then addressed the news below and the impact on the campus at Saint Francis of having to cancel football season and some other spring sports.

Update: 5:33 p.m.

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**Saint Francis University announced this evening that it will not play football this spring, and that some other NEC-sponsored sports also will not be played because of COVID concerns.

The sports that will not be played are listed below in the school’s press release. Other spring sports not listed will be played. Softball and men’s volleyball, two of the school’s most successful programs, are scheduled to be played.

LORETTO, Pa. – Saint Francis University has announced the decision for the athletic department’s fall Northeast Conference sports not to participate in the rescheduled Spring 2021 season.

The university’s fall Northeast Conference teams – cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball – will not compete in Spring 2021 and will be scheduled to return to action for the Fall 2021 season.

This difficult decision was made by the institution while weighing several factors. The university seeks to pursue a successful 2021 season for winter and spring sport student-athletes whose 2020 seasons were abruptly cut short by the pandemic. The determination helps to ensure unaffected Fall 2021 competition for fall student-athletes.

In addition, the decision to limit Spring 2021 competition to winter and spring teams with conference-sponsored championships will assist in greatly decreasing the amount of out-of-state travel for Saint Francis students while also decreasing the number of out-of-state visitors to campus.  A significant portion of the Saint Francis student community are student-athletes.  Hosting Spring 2021 competition for only winter and spring teams will help to mitigate the risk of virus exposure for the broad campus community which is paramount for the institution.

Saint Francis University is thankful for the support and understanding of our student-athletes, athletics, and local community as college athletics navigates the challenges of the covid-19 pandemic.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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