From the desk of: THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH
LIU BLACKBIRDS: Turn Back Central Connecticut State to Remain a Game in First Place.
The Hoops of Flatbush turned back Central Connecticut State to improve their Wellness Center record to 9-0 this season. Their convincing 95-80 victory makes them 17-7 overall, and 11-1 in the Northeast Conference. They needed this third consecutive win because Wagner and St. Francis (BK) kept pace with wins of their own, and remain tied for second place with 10-2 records.
CCSU had the game's two high scorers. Forward Ken Horton led all players with twenty-nine points. Robby Ptacek followed with twenty-four. However, five LIU players achieved double digit scoring in leading the Blackbirds to a big first half, and then to a fifteen point margin of victory. Jamal Olasewere led Flatbush scorers with seventeen points. Julian Boyd and C.J. Garner chipped in with sixteen points each. Jason Brickman came in at fourteen points and Michael Culpo added twelve.
Brooklyn made extensive use of their bench this game. Three players clocked in over fifteen minutes and collectively scored nineteen points. Kenny Onyechi stepped in and spearheaded a dominant Flatbush effort on the glass. The Blackbirds out rebounded CCSU 44-26 and in particular cleaned up on the defensive end with twenty-eight boards. Onyechi pulled down a game high thirteen rebounds in his twenty-three minutes.
Both teams shot equally well from the floor. But once again, LIU hammered another opponent from the line. Brooklyn nailed twenty-nine of thirty-one free throws. CCSU scored seventeen points off twenty-six shots. CCSU actually led for most of the first eleven minutes of the game. But once Brooklyn overcame them at 25-23 in the first half, CCSU never held another lead again. The Blackbirds were up by thirteen at the half, and led by as many as twenty-four points with about eight minutes left in the game.
The Blackbirds will now take their act to a much larger stage. Brooklyn's two downtown teams; LIU and St. Francis (NY); will start a two game series this coming Wednesday in Madison Square Garden before bringing the series home to Ashland Place in the annual Battle of Brooklyn.