HOMETOWN HEROES: Reggie Spencer a big part of Northeastern’s success

Former Hillcrest standout Reggie Spencer (44) leads Northeastern University in rebounding with 8.3 per game and is fourth in scoring with 10.7 points per game. (Photo by Northeastern University)

The Northeastern University men’s basketball team is making history this season in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The Huskies are 10-1 in conference play for just the second time in school history and one of just a handful of Division I basketball teams with double-digit conference wins after the first week of February.

Former Hillcrest High School standout Reggie Spencer is right in the middle of the team’s success.

"It is fun knowing that we are part of history here," Spencer said. "It is very exciting, especially being a sophomore and knowing I have two more years left to play. The majority of our team is young, so that is a good feeling."

The ball has not always bounced the Huskies’ way this season. After winning four of its first five games, Northeastern lost six of its next seven games, including a five-game losing streak. NU finished the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 5-7 record.

Since then, Northeastern has won 10 of 11 conference games, including an eight-game winning streak to start league play. After a loss to Georgia State on Jan. 30, the Huskies have won the last two games, including a four-point win at Hofstra on Wednesday that saw the team erase a 10-point deficit in the final nine minutes of the game.

"We have peaked at the right time," Spencer said. "We started off slow at the beginning of the year but we have no t gotten things together and started winning. I don’t think it was one particular thing. We just came together as a team and started playing better. We share the ball better. I know our assist totals went up. Basically, we are just playing more as a team."

Spencer leads the team in rebounding (8.3) and field goal percentage (.543) and ranks fourth on the team in scoring (10.7) this season. He has 13 double-figure scoring games and recorded double-doubles against Maine and Central Connecticut State.

"This is going pretty good. Last year, I just tried to fit in the program and learn. I feel like scoring-wise, I am more patient and have a better feel for the game this year. It depends on the situation of the game. If they need me to score then I try to score. If they need rebounds, then I try and rebound the ball better. Or if they need me to set screens to get people open, just whatever they need me to do."

He hopes whatever that role may be, it will land the Huskies’ name on the CBS NCAA Selection Special in March.

"I think it would be very exciting. It is a dream of mine to make the NCAA Tournament and play in the tournament. To see our name called would be very exciting."


Reggie Spencer File:

Northeastern: Played in 54 games and logged 46 starts for the Huskies … He is averaging 8.5 points and 5.6 rebounds per game for the Huskies … In 23 starts this season, Spencer is averaging 10.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game … He leads the team in rebounding and field goal percentage (.543) … He is second in the Colonial Athletic Association in field goal percentage … He has recorded 13 double figure scoring games … He recorded a season-high 18 points against cross-town rival Boston University in the season opener … His recorded double-doubles against Maine (16-10) and Central Connecticut State (15-10) … He played in 31 games and made 23 starts last season as a true freshman … He averaged 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds … Collected a double-double in his first-ever collegiate game, contributing 16 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots in the win over Boston University (Nov. 11) ... He was named CAA Rookie of the Week on Nov. 14, 2011 for his efforts in the BU game … He picked up a career-high 17 points in the win against Towson, along with a team-high six assists on Feb. 14, 2012.

Hillcrest High School: He played four years of varsity basketball at Hillcrest High School … Served as team captain for two seasons … Led Hillcrest to two Alabama Class 6A state titles (2008 and 2011) and a 32-3 record in 2011 … He was named the Alabama Class 6A state MVP in 2011 … Also played in the Alabama-Mississippi all-star game … He also participated in track and field for two seasons, in the triple jump and discus throw.