Saturday, November 18, 2017

LIU/Brooklyn Blackbirds Split Pair in Jamaica Classic

From the desk of:  THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

U of Hartford    94
LIU/Brooklyn    96

LIU/Brooklyn Blackbirds: Derek Kellogg Earns First Win As Head Coach.

LIU thundered to a 104-68 homecoming victory over the College of New Rochelle Blue Angels this past Wednesday at the Steinberg Wellness Center, marking their first win of the 2017-2018 regular season, and Derek Kellogg's first victory as Blackbirds head coach.

All five Blackbirds starters scored in double-digits, led by Joel Hernandez' game best 19 points.  Raiquan Clark added 17 points, and tied with Jamall Robinson (off the bench) with a game high five assists.  Eral Penn led all players with 13 rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench, while Zach Coleman secured another 11 rebounds and scored ten points.

The Blackbirds were just 11 of 40 (27%) from three-point range.  But otherwise commanded play down low, outscoring CNR 48-30 in the paint, and out-working them for a 56-38 advantage on the boards.  In turn, LIU posted 23 fast-break points against just eight for the Blue Angels.

Flatbush Hoops Split Pair in Jamaica Classic

The team traveled to Montego Bay for the 2017 Jamaican Classic this weekend and will be returning with a mixed bag of goods. 

The Miami(Ohio) Red Hawks edged out the Blackbirds 78-74 in Friday's match.  LIU got off to a poor start, converting on just 8 of 23 (23%) attempts from the field, and only 4 of 14 from beyond the three, resulting in a 21-34 halftime deficit. 

As was the case against Tulane, LIU's second half effort fell just short of its mark.  Zach Coleman's three-pointer with just 0:03 second left got the Blackbirds within two points of MiamiOH.  But after LIU's Jashaun Agosto followed-up with the obligatory foul, Red Hawks Darrian Ringo hit both free throws giving MiamiOH a four point final margin of victory.

Saturday's game against the University of Hartford Hawks was yet another tightly contested affair.  Jashaun Agosto's three put LIU up 86-80 with just 01:30 to go.  An ill advised foul at the 01:16 mark allowed Hartford to close within four.  After trading missed shot attempts, the Hawks scored on a layup at 00:40 to close within two.  LIU's Zach Coleman followed with a missed three-point attempt with 00:16 seconds left.  Hartford secured the rebound, but likewise missed a three-point attempt with 00:03 second left, giving the Blackbirds an 86-84 victory.

With team rebounds, assists, turnovers, and free throws, evenly playing out, LIU's ability to connect from long range proved the difference against the Hawks, connecting on 12 of 23 (53%), versus 8 of 24 (33%) for Hartford.  Raul Frias was a perfect 3/3, while Zach Coleman hit half of his eight attempts from beyond the three.

Although the Blackbirds lost the battle in the paint 30-38, their bench outscored Hartford's by a 19-8 spread.  Raiquan Clark led the Blackbirds with 21 points and eight rebounds.

  • LIU was outscored by a slim 160-162 aggregate score through two games of the Jamaica Classic.

Goodbye beautiful Jamaica!  The team now heads back north into New England, where they'll take on the University of Massachusetts/Lowell River Hawks, then face Brown University in Providence, R.I.

The University of Hartford will visit the Steinberg Wellness Center on Nov. 30 for a return match against the Blackbirds.

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