NU men’s basketball drops regular season finale, finishes last in conference


Jim Pierce

The Northeastern University Huskies fell to the Elon University Phoenix.

Nicholas Tesoriero, news staff

The Northeastern University Huskies (8-21 CAA) fell to the Elon University Phoenix (10-21 CAA) 54-67 in the Feb. 26 regular season finale. The loss solidified the Huskies’ position at the bottom of the CAA conference standings, in what has been a frustrating season for the team.

Despite a disappointing result, the occasion was joyous. Graduate student guard Nikola Djogo, redshirt senior forward Jason Strong and redshirt senior guard Shaquille Walters were honored in their final game at Matthews Arena. All three players started the game and their impact was felt throughout. 

Strong opened the game shooting, knocking down 3 threes in the first half. It was a spirited showing for the senior center, who finished the game with a team-high 14 points along with six rebounds.

Strong’s shooting ability was one of the offense’s few advantages in the first half, as the team struggled to get going. The senior athletes accounted for 14 of a mere 20 first-half points scored, as NU shot 24% from the field and trailed Elon 20-30 at the end of the period.

Northeastern picked up the pace in the second half, as Walters sparked a run, converting some tough buckets, to insert the Huskies back in the game.

NU cut the lead to within six in the second half; however, the Phoenixes broke away and never looked back.

The dynamic backcourt of Elon University sophomore guard Darius Buford and junior guard Hunter McIntosh proved to be too much for the Huskies, as the guards racked up a combined 36 points on 13-27 from the field.

Elon sophomore center Michael Graham was a force in the paint all game, grabbing 10 rebounds and recording two blocks in 23 minutes of play. His presence was felt down the stretch, as NU’s offense failed to put up second chance points.

The Huskies lack of scoring depth became the decisive factor, as the bench unit was outscored 5-18. Despite the overall team struggles, multiple starters turned in solid performances.

NU sophomore guard Jahmyl Telfort chipped in 13 points and drew multiple fouls as he consistently got to the free throw line, where he shot a perfect 6-6. Junior forward Chris Dougherty supplied nine points in 20 minutes, on an efficient 4-5 from the field. 

Dougherty also recorded five rebounds, as he finished the regular season ranking 26 in the NCAA for most rebounds per game.

The loss capped off what’s been a disheartening season for the Huskies, as they’ve struggled to build momentum after a strong start to the season. 

Despite the many hurdles the team has faced, the emergence of Dougherty has been an unexpected boon, and provides some reasons for optimism next season.