St. Francis (PA) defeats Monmouth (NJ) 71-49

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LORETTO, Pa. (AP) -- Anthony Ervin scored 11 points to help St. Francis (Pa.) get off to a fast start and beat Monmouth (N.J.) 71-49 in the Northeast Conference opener for both teams Thursday night.

St. Francis (1-6) entered the game with the highest field goal percentage in the NEC, 45.3 percent (111 of 245), and improved on that tonight shooting 60.4 percent (26 of 43) against Monmouth.

The Red Flash led 8-2 before Monmouth closed the gap to one, 8-7, behind an Andrew Nicholas jumper. But it was the closest they would get, as St. Francis went on a 10-2 run to take a 18-9 lead with 11:02 left to play in the first half.

Ervin hit a 3-pointer and made a layup on consecutive Red Flash possessions to extend the lead to 23-12.

Dion Nesmith recorded nine points for Monmouth (0-7).

The win snaps a six game losing streak for St. Francis.