Friday, February 10, 2012

LIU Blackbirds ~ Flatbush Hoops Take First Battle of Brooklyn

From the desk of:   THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

The Battle of Brooklyn

Madison Square Garden

Wednesday Night Final:
LIU-Brookyn   86
St. Francis        77

February 12, 2012
From the Wellness Center
Ashland Place, Brooklyn

LIU BLACKBIRDS:  Hoops of Flatbush hold off The Court Street Cagers 86-77 in this year's first engagement of the Battle of Brooklyn.

The Battle of Brooklyn has begun.  Over 7,000 fans filed into Madison Square Garden which played host to the first of two showdowns between Downtown Brooklyn's college cagers in their annual clash to be named Kings of the County.

Blackbird forward, Julian Boyd's lay-up was the first basket of Rivalry Weekend this past Wednesday night against the St. Francis Terriers.  Over the first twenty minutes, LIU shot 51% from the floor and buried 4/9 from beyond the three-point line.  LIU built a lead that reached as many as thirteen points with just over 3:00 left in the first half.  But St. Francis withstood LIU's near-half long surge and answered with an 11-0 run before the break.  They helped themselves shooting 8/8 from the line; scored a net five points off turnovers; and scored twelve second chance points versus LIU's three points en-route to making the game 39-38 at halftime.

Jamal Olasewere and Julian Boyd went toe to toe with the Terriers' Akeem Johnson and Ben Mockford.  The Terriers' Akeem Johnson led first half scorers with thirteen points.  His team mate Ben Mockford added ten points.  Jamal Olasewere and Julian Boyd each scored ten.

By scoring the first points to start the second half, the Terriers briefly enjoyed their first and only lead of the game.  The Blackbirds continued to shoot above 50% from the floor and absolutely crushed St. Francis from the free throw line.  They additionally dominated St. Francis on the defensive glass with twenty rebounds.  Jamal Olasewere took matters into his own hands scoring fifteen points and pulling down eight of those rebounds for second half highs.

With a nine point differential, the game ended in an 86-77 final.  For the night, St. Francis' Akeem Johnson led all scorers with twenty four points.  Ben Mockford was the second Terrier to score at least twenty-points.  On the other side, Jamal Olasewere and Julian Boyd turned in a pair of double-doubles to lead the Blackbirds to their fourth straight win.  C.J. Garner contributed with nineteen points, and Jason Brickman had a game high eight assists to go along with thirteen points.

The Blackbirds raised their overall season mark to 18-7, but more importantly, clinched a berth in the NEC tournament as they improved their first place Conference record to 12-1  - while with this loss, St. Francis (NY) drops to 10-3, and into third place behind Wagner.  Both schools however have also  earned berths in the tournament.  Five more teams are yet to qualify for spots.

The Battle of Brooklyn will formally take it's rightful place Downtown this coming Sunday as the next clash of the Borough's colleges moves to the Ashland Place Gym for an afternoon game.


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