LORETTO - St. Francis men's basketball coach Rob Krimmel doesn't often feel disappointed with his team's overall performance.
But Saturday, he was. And he had good reason to be.
Aside from a short burst in the second half, the Red Flash couldn't get much else to go their way in an 81-56 Northeast Conference loss to Wagner at DeGol Arena.
"We knew coming into the game that Wagner was a physical team," Krimmel said. "We knew that they were experienced and tough.
"In the second half, we made that run, but it was too little, too late to play with that energy. I'm certainly disappointed with this one because I thought for the first game, for 40 minutes, we just didn't respond."
And things may get worse before they get better.
The Red Flash couldn't scratch out a win during their four-game homestand, and now they hit the road for three of their toughest league games.
St. Francis visits LIU Brooklyn on Thursday before a date with St. Francis Brooklyn on Feb. 2 and a rematch with Robert Morris on Feb. 6.
"You've got to protect home court," Krimmel said, whose team has now lost seven straight. "You've absolutely got to protect home court. We didn't do that here."
Now going on the road, "Those are three of the top teams in the league right now. It'll be nice to hopefully have everybody back and going with a full roster, but those are three of the most talented teams and three of the most experienced teams."
Junior guard Umar Shannon (ankle) and freshman forward Stephon Mosley (concussion) sat out again, and so did their combined 22.3 points per game.
But their absence wasn't the only thing that was troubling.
The Red Flash (1-18, 1-7 NEC) were a miserable 20-for-56 (36 percent) from the floor and turned the ball over 16 times.
They were crushed on the boards, too, losing that battle, 38-28.
"I thought my guys came out with the right intensity, the right focus on the defensive end of the court, which was my focus today," said Wagner coach Bashir Mason, whose team improved to 11-8 overall and 5-3 in the NEC. "We wanted to really work on our defense and execute. What we stress a lot is field-goal percentage defense. We want to force guys into taking highly contested shots. With that, we have to finish good defense with rebounding."
"I think it was a combination of their defense and us rushing a little bit," Krimmel said of SFU's shooting woes. "We didn't shoot well. Without [Mosley] and Umar, we needed guys to step up and make shots in this game, and we didn't [get that]."
St. Francis may get a boost when it makes its Brooklyn road swing next week.
Both Shannon and Mosley could be in the lineup, re-establishing the chemistry that has been building since the beginning of the new year.
"We were getting into a chemistry with a group of guys, and they were starting to play really, really well," Krimmel said. "You take two starters out of the lineup and insert some guys that were a part of the rotation, but a little different role, it broke a little bit of our rhythm."
The Seahawks - who moved to 8-0 this season, 18-0 over the past two seasons, when holding opponents to 60 points or fewer - had five players score in double figures, led by Jonathon Williams' 19 points.
As a unit, Wagner was 34-for-59 (58 percent) from the field, including an impressive 19-for-30 (63 percent) effort in the second half.
"We're not a team where we rely on one or two guys to score," Mason said. "We're a pretty good team where we can have multiple guys score in double figures if we're playing the right way. We did that this afternoon.
"We were smart, moving the ball, taking advantage of what was given to us. We shared the ball and we were able to get some easy layups around the basket, especially there in the second half."
Earl Brown and Ben Millaud-Meunier each had a team-high 12 points for the Red Flash. Dom Major had nine points on 3-of-8 shooting from behind the arc.
"Even before the injuries, he kind of worked his way in at Monmouth and FDU and played well," Krimmel said of Millaud-Meunier's development and improvement. "And he earned those minutes before the injuries happened. Now with the injuries, his role has increased a little bit, but I have complete faith in him. He's going to be a good player for us."
WAGNER (11-8): Williams 8-10 3-7 19, Thompson 2-7 0-0 4, Parker 6-7 2-2 14, Ortiz 5-9 0-0 10, Rivers 4-7 0-0 10, Folahan 0-1 0-0 0, Fanning 6-10 3-4 15, Naurais 1-1 0-0 2, Anderson 2-7 2-2 7. Totals 34-59 10-15 81.
ST. FRANCIS (1-18): E. Brown 6-12 0-0 12, Drinnon 0-1 0-2 0, Whyatt 2-8 2-2 7, Millaud-Meunier 4-9 1-2 12, Major 3-9 0-1 9, Vigneault 0-0 0-0 0, G. Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Gresko 0-1 0-0 0, Jackson 1-6 4-4 7, Peters 0-0 0-0 0, Ervin 3-6 0-0 6, Stanley 1-4 1-2 3. Totals 20-56 8-13 56.
Halftime-Wagner 36-22. 3-Point Goals-Wagner 3-9 (Rivers 2-3, Anderson 1-3, Fanning 0-1, Thompson 0-1, Williams 0-1), St. Francis 8-26 (Millaud-Meunier 3-6, Major 3-8, Whyatt 1-5, Jackson 1-6, Ervin 0-1). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Wagner 38 (Williams 8), St. Francis 28 (E. Brown 6). Assists-Wagner 13 (Ortiz 6), St. Francis 13 (Whyatt 7). Total Fouls-Wagner 17, St. Francis 16. A-1,002.