Sunday, December 18, 2011

LIU Blackbirds ~ There's No Place Like...Flatbush

From the desk of:   THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

LIU Blackbirds:  The Hoops of Flatbush Dial Up Some Home Cooking.

Last Wednesday night didn't go so well.  But it was the end of a long and winding road for the Blackbirds.  In the final game during a stretch in which they started the season playing their first ten of eleven games on the road, their last stop in Virginia to take on the Norfolk State Spartans resulted in a 73-62 defeat.

LIU was held to twenty four points in the first half while Norfolk State scored thirty-five.  It proved to be the difference as both teams scored thirty eight points each in the second half.  Julian Boyd led the Blackbirds in points with thirteen and in rebounds with nine.  But LIU never came up with an answer for Norfolk State's Kyle O'Quinn.  He was the game high scorer with twenty-two points, while shooting ten of twelve from the line.  He pulled down fourteen rebounds in all; seven on the defensive end, and another seven on the offensive glass. 

The loss dropped the Blackbirds' season record to 5-6; which all things considered, isn't too bad for the kind of road schedule they just endured.

Saturday night however, was a welcome home of sorts and a game with much better results for the locals.  The downtown Brooklyn cagers finally returned to their home court for the first time since December 1st, and for only the second time all season.  Back again in the friendly confines of the Wellness Center,  LIU held on to narrowly defeat the Peacocks of St. Peter's College 82-80, in a game Brooklyn led by more than twenty points in the second half, only to let the Peacocks battle back to within two points with just under a second left in the game.  St. Peter's wound up outscoring the Blackbirds in the second half by a 55-46 margin.  But Brooklyn maintained their final ball possession as time ran out on the Peacocks, who were done in more by the expiration of time that LIU's ability to stop them down the stretch.

A win is a win however, and this win improves LIU's record to six wins against six losses. 

Julian Boyd was big man on campus Saturday night.  He was the game-high scorer with twenty-nine points; shooting fourteen of seventeen from the line.  Julian also dominated this game on both the offensive and defensive glass.  He kept eight offensive possessions alive, and came down with another nine rebounds on the defensive end for a game high total seventeen rebounds.  C.J. Garner tallied six assists and added thirteen points.  But Garner struggled mightily from the field shooting only two of eight.  He shot nine of ten from the line however.  Michael Culpo was third in with eleven points; and hit a trio of three-pointers in eight attempts.

Next on the schedule, the Blackbirds will host two more games at the Ashland Place gym.  Texas State will pay a downtown visit to the Wellness Center on Tuesday, December 20th.  Then on December 30th, NJIT strolls in for the last out of conference game on the Blackbirds' schedule.


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