Blackbirds Win on Senior Day, 86-72
Amid all the excitement and hoopla surrounding St. John’s Red Storm’s terrific season, The Long Island University Blackbirds have created a season to remember for their followers in Brooklyn.
LIU has had a great season this year with an impressive 24-5, 16-2 record. LIU won the Northeast regular season with a 16-2 mark and defeated Central Connecticut State University 86-72, in their last regular season home game. Head Coach Jim Ferry and his team own the best road win record in the country, 13-3, and are ranked one of the top teams in the nation with a rebound average close to 42 rebounds per game. Their offense is also in high gear, scoring over 82 points per game, putting them in the top-ten teams in Division I play.
This season has been the culmination of a lot of hard work by the two senior starters, David Hicks and Kyle Johnson, who are also guards. They have both played in 120 LIU games, a career record. Hicks led the team in scoring against CCSU with 22 points, highlighted by 3 quick shots made from long distance, accounting for 9 points, which secured the lead for LIU in the second half.
“We have something really special here,” says Jim Ferry, head coach of LIU. The team has the most wins of any team playing in the New York-metropolitan area this season. LIU has a lot of depth — players who can come off the bench and do a great job. Reserve guard Jason Brickman, a freshman, has been just been named NEC Rookie of Week for his performance. C.J. Garner, a sophomore guard, starts, and gives the Blackbird an additional man to direct and move the offense, which is aggressive and high flying, a suitable description for the Blackbirds. Sophomore forward Kenny Onyechi came off the bench and scored 16 points against CCSU.
Julian Boyd, the NEC Rookie of the Year in 2008-2009 for LIU is a talent with natural scoring ability. At 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds, he is a physical presence with a great shooting touch. Boyd scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the win over CCSU. His body knows when to stop, pivot and shoot. He’s an offensive force.
“We have the ability to wear people down,” said Ferry. Perhaps that is why LIU has a higher shooting percentage in the second half. His teams create separation by having a “wave of players” coming at you, mentally ready and aggressive. Against CCSU, LIU shot a hot 64.3 percent in the second half. The team made 5 of 10 three-point attempts. LIU was trailing CCSU 36-34 at the half. But LIU made its shots and gradually pulled away to take a six-point lead with eight minutes left to play. Then Hicks went to work. He found his spot about 24 feet from the basket and fired a bomb. It went in. Then two more quick shots and LIU had a 74-59 lead it never gave up. “My teammates found me,” Hicks noted. “Coach told me to find my lane, spot up, and make sure my feet are squared.” #