Monday, January 02, 2012

LIU Blackbirds ~ Defending NEC Champs Ready for Conference

From the desk of:   THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

LIU BLACKBIRDS:  Look Out.  Defending Northeast Champs Coming Through.

The Blackbirds ended 2011 with a win over the NJIT Highlanders last Wednesday night at the Wellness Center to cap off a 3-0 home stand.  The victory improved their overall record to 8-6 and makes them a perfect 4-0 at home.

Their third consecutive win was anchored by Julian Boyd who treated the home crowd with his third consecutive double-double of the home stand.   He scored a game high twenty-two points, and pulled down a game leading twelve rebounds in leading the Blackbirds to an 84-74 win.

Jason Brickman was the game's next leading scorer.  The Flatbush guard dropped eighteen points and assisted on six more.  During a team high thirty-six minutes, he limited himself to two turnovers and shot 4-4 from the line.

Jamal Olasewere and Michael Culpo scored fifteen and eleven points respectively, to give LIU four players in double digit scoring.  And together, Jamal Olasewere (10) and Julian Boyd dominated the boards to help LIU out-rebound NJIT 41-29.  Seventeen of their twenty-one rebounds came on the defensive glass.

The victory over NJIT concludes their three game home stand and also concludes their out-of-conference schedule in which they played 6-6 basketball.

They are 2-0 within their conference with earlier wins over Wagner and Mount St. Mary's.  And now, their NEC season starts in earnest.  They will start 2012 and NEC portion of their schedule starting Thursday night against Sacred Heart in Fairfield Connecticut.  The Pioneers are 7-8 this season and fresh off a win against New Hampshire.

There is currently a four way tie for first place in the NEC with Long Island; Robert Morris; Central Connecticut State; and St. Francis (PA); all sporting 2-0 in-conference records.

Sacred Heart and Flatbush are the top two (overall) scoring teams in their conference.  Sacred Heart holds a slim lead over LIU with 1087 points scored.  LIU has 1079 points.  They are they only two teams thus far to have surpassed 1,000 points this season.  In-Conference numbers will now start to take form.  The 2010-2011 Northeast Champions look ready for the challenge of defending their title.

So look out, Blackbirds coming through.


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