LIU Holds Off Bryant’s Upset Bid, 75-70
When the season is completed and hopefully the team has met some of its goals, the Long Island University Blackbirds can look back at the Bryant University game as a victory LIU will certainly take.
LIU’s win over Bryant wasn’t easy. The Bryant Bulldogs were dogged in playing LIU tight and smart, and never let the Blackbirds build up a big lead.
This game came down to the final minute when Julian Boyd hit a turn-around jumper to give LIU a 70-66 lead with about 35 ticks on the game clock. LIU held on in the end, and breathed a sigh of relief.
Sophomore point guard Jason Brickman hit some key 3-point shots to give the Blackbirds some breathing room. He led the team with 15 points. Junior forward Julian Boyd had 12 points and his basket in the closing minute was huge. Jamal Olasewere scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Olasewere held Alex Francis to 6 points in the second half. Francis scored a game high 20 points for the Bulldogs.
“We were grinding it out,” Jim Ferry, head coach of LIU said. “We didn’t do a very good job of setting a tone in the game. And we allowed a team to get some life in them.”
Bryant carried a seven-game losing streak into the Wellness and Recreation Center on LIU’s Brooklyn campus. But they played tough. “I give them credit,” Ferry said. They played very hard.”
LIU is the defending Northeast Conference Champs and went to the NCAA Tournament last March. The Blackbirds currently lead the conference and hope to have a strong finish to get there again. “Everybody is going to be playing us hard,” Ferry said. We are the reigning champs.” Every time LIU made a move to take a lead, the Bulldogs answered and it was a slim LIU lead at halftime, 37-36.
In the second half, the Blackbirds hit 55 percent of the shots, Jason Brickman made some key treys, and Boyd’s basket with about 35 seconds on the clock sealed the win.
“I think Jason Brickman is the best point guard in the league,” Ferry claimed. “He makes shots, he makes us roll.” In the Bryant game, it was Brickman who was the difference. He calmly made big shots and his on-court presence makes you think he is an upperclassman. He’s only a sophomore, and the accounting major should have some great games in the future. For now, Brickman is balancing his coursework and court work and the team is ready to defend its title. #