LIU Brooklyn making their first move in their Texas “two-step” this season and the Blackbirds cruises to a 97-70 win over the Rice Owls on the road tonight. It is the Blackbirds’ fourth consecutive win and first road win of the season. Four LIU Blackbirds finished in double-figures. Jamal Olasewere, as I excepted, had a great comeback game after the tough game he had on Saturday vs Hofstra. Olasewere led LIU with 26 points on 8 of 12 shooting. The nation’s leader in free throw attempts once again got back to the charity stripe time after time. He went 10 for 13 at the free throw line to lead all players. Olasewere also lead LIU in rebounds with 8. Rice got a great game from Tamir Jackson who had a game-high 26 points on 11 for 19 shooting. At one point in the second half, he was mister everything and kept going to the basket time after time just blowing by guard C.J. Garner. Unfortunately, Jackson and Julian DeBose who had 18 for the Owls were pretty much the only offense for the Rice all night long.
LIU Brooklyn shot a season-high 65% from the field on 35 for 54 shooting. They got to the free throw line 23 times, hitting 17 for 74%. They also knocked down 10 of 19 threes for 53%. At points in the game, it looked like LIU could get any shot they wanted. They faced very little opposition getting to the rim and had very good looks at the three point shot. The Blackbirds outrebounded the Owls 35 to 18. The Blackbirds’ played this game not quite at their tempo with 68 possessions but they scored a season-high 1.428 points per possession.
The game was close for the first ten minutes. Then after the under-12 media timeout, LIU Brooklyn went on a 15-4 run between media timeouts to go from up 21-20 to 36-24. It was the run that pretty much put the game away. C.J. Garner had 16 points on 7 of 8 shooting and was 7 for 7 inside the three-point line. Brandon Thompson had his second consecutive 14 point game. He was 4 of 7 from downtown and 5 of 9 overall. Jason Brickman chipped in with 7 points and 9 assists with just two turnovers in 38 minutes. The bench production has another decent game, they are becoming much more productive. The bench scored 21 points in 49 minutes on 6 for 10 shooting. Efficient. D.J. Griggs, a native of Lake Jackson, Texas had a career-high 7 points in the win including banking in his first three of his college career. Booker Hucks so far in two games is a perfect 4 for 4 from the field, all three-pointers.
Julian Boyd had another good game. He had 13 points on 6 for 9 shooting in 24 minutes. A concern though for the Blackbirds is that Boyd left the game with about nine minutes left with what looked like a possible knee injury. He was seen on the bench icing his right knee. Boyd got tangled with a couple of bodies at midcourt going after a loose ball. He immediately grabbed his knee and looked like he was in quite a bit of pain. Hopefully, we will have an injury update on his condition tomorrow.
Overall, the Blackbirds did what they had to do with a team that on paper, LIU looked like they had almost all of the advantages against going in. The offense was clicking on all cylinders tonight. The defense had a better second-half than first. That could have been because Rice might have worned down by then and fouls on the bigs went mounting up for the Owls. The Owls did shot 50% overall from the floor but they were horrible from the free throw line going 6 of 15 for 40%.
Up next for LIU Brooklyn is a good home test versus Manhattan. Manhattan recently beat Siena on Sunday by 20 at home to go to 3-5 for the season. The key will be if George Beamon plays for the Jaspers. He is their leading scorer and he has missed the last two games for Manhattan and will likely be a game-time decision to play on Sunday.