Friday, February 03, 2012

LIU Blackbirds ~ Hold Off Bryant; Big Test Saturday

From the desk of:   THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

LIU BLACKBIRDS:   Bulldogs Take a Bite Out of Blackbirds. But Flatbush Tames Bryant With a Better Second Half.

Bryant Bulldogs 2 of 18 shooting from beyond the arch could have been all the difference.

.....It's all in how you look at things.  But it just goes to show;  On any given day any team can be beat.

The Bryant Bulldogs came into the Wellness Center and damn-near turned it into their own personal fun house.  Bryant was 2-20 coming into last night's game and 1-9 in the Conference.  And for that, wound up putting silly looking and puzzled faces on a stunned crowd inside the Ashland Place Gym, as the Bulldogs played toe-to-toe with the first place and defending NEC Champs.

After four lead changes, and the Bulldogs building up to a nine point lead, LIU-Brooklyn came back to take a one point lead into half-time.  Brooklyn steadied themselves in the second half, although Bryant did tie the score on two occasions.  They pulled within 72-70 with 0:11 seconds left in the game.  But Brooklyn buried their free throws to seal the deal.  It turned out to be just enough to secure a 75-70 victory and for many, a huge relief.

The Blackbirds did more with less attempts, shooting 49% for the game and 55% in the second half from the floor.  However they squeezed this game out by being better than Bryant from behind the three, and by going to the line almost twice as many times as the Bulldogs; which incidentally has been a season long recipe.

Otherwise, Bryan outscored LIU from the field and out rebounded them for the game, particularly on their own offensive glass.  Bryant's Alex Francis was the game high scorer with twenty-five points and led all rebounders with eleven.

Jason Brickman was Brooklyn's big man on campus Thursday leading Flatbush scorers with fifteen points while playing in a team high thirty-six minutes.  The Blackbirds had five players in double digit scoring in all.  C.J. Garner and Julian Boyd added twelve points each.  Jamal Olasewere dropped eleven and Michael Culpo netted ten points to round out LIU's top five scorers.

The Ashland Place Gym Rats improved their overall record to 16-7, and 10-1 within the Conference.  With an 8-0 record, they still remain undefeated at home this season.  But for a night anyway, a crisis was narrowly averted.   Lesson learned and point noted.

Next on the docket for the Downtowners is Central Connecticut State (7-4) who are currently tied with Robert Morris for third place of the NEC.  They were 73-67 losers to St. Francis of Brooklyn Thursday which dropped their record to 2-8 on the road.  Saturday's game will tip-off at the Wellness Center at 4:30pm.


Northeast Conference

Central Connecticut State (7-4)

Ashland Place, Brooklyn

St. Francis of Brooklyn and Wagner remain hot on the Blackbirds' tails with 9-2 records.  Following LIU's game Saturday against Central Connecticut,  LIU-Brooklyn and St. Francis will bring the Battle for Brooklyn to Madison Square Garden first, before returning to the Wellness Center for the second game of two straight between the downtown borough rivals.


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