Red hot three-point shooting propels LIU Brooklyn over Saint Francis U.

#20 Booker Hucks sets to fire off of his five made three pointers vs SFU. (Photo Credit: Bob Dea)

#20 Booker Hucks sets to fire off of his five made three pointers vs SFU. (Photo Credit: Bob Dea)

Game Highlights

It wasn’t pretty by any means but LIU Brooklyn did what they had to do on Thursday night at the Wellness Center against a one-win Saint Francis University squad. Although, the Red Flash put a small second-half scare into the Blackbirds by getting within six, LIU used a barrage of threes to finally take control of the game and beat SFU 82-62 and bring their winning streak to a season-high six games.

At the start, it looked like LIU would put the game to bed early with a 13-0 run to begin the game. They had as much as a 15-point first half lead and it looked like this game would be over by halftime but LIU got sloppy and turn the ball over and continued making silly fouls which let the Red Flash hang in the game. At the half, SFU were only down ten. LIU committed eleven first half turnovers which led to twelve SFU points. “We talked about it obviously since the Bryant game, that this game was not going to be easy.” said LIU head coach Jack Perri after the game. The Red Flash didn’t make it easy especially at the start of the second half with a 10-6 run to get within six and start making the LIU coaching staff and player a bit uneasy.

Booker Hucks takes off for a one-hand baseline slam vs SFU (Photo Credit: Bob Dea)

Booker Hucks takes off for a one-hand baseline slam vs SFU (Photo Credit: Bob Dea)

One LIU player decided to end the madness and that was Booker Hucks. Hucks would hit three straight three-point attempts in the middle of an LIU 29-10 run that would ultimately put this game away for the Blackbirds. He would go on to hit four second-half three on his way to a career-high tying 20 points on 7 of 9 shooting including 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. He attributed his red-hot second half shooting to LIU point guard Jason Brickman who keep finding him open repeatedly. “It was just the fact that Jason Brickman is the most amazing passer I say I have ever seen.” said Hucks.”He always has the knack for finding me and anybody who is open. I just caught the ball and shot it.” Including the Bryant game, Hucks is now 9 for 13 from three and is now shooting 50% from three for the season. “Everyone needs to step up in every single game so I just try to do my best to help the team out.” In asking Hucks when was the last time he has been in this kind of shooting grove, the senior forward said “not since high school”. “Booker played great.” said Perri of Hucks. “He really stepped up. You can see the confidence even from the Bryant game. He has really practiced well. He has done a great job. He has really stepped up as a leader too.”

The team once again got a balanced effort. After Hucks’ 20 points, Jamal Olasewere finished the night with 17 points and 9 rebounds. C.J. Garner and Brandon Thompson both scored 14 points. Oddly for Thompson, this was his fourth 14-point game in his last six games and he had scored 14 points in six games this season. He must have a fascination with the number 14 or he knows it is my lucky number. Jason Brickman finished with 5 points and 13 assists on only five turnovers. His third straight double-digit assist game.”Our guys did what they were supposed to do, what they had to do.” said Perri.

One negative sign coming out of this game was the turnovers. The Blackbirds really got sloppy with the ball and committed 20 turnovers in the game. Against a good team, they can’t get away with that. Also, with the game in hand, Perri went to his bench to get them playing time and rest the starters up for Saturday but SFU took advantage of the poor play of the second unit on floor for LIU. The culprits were Jason Brickman, the lone starter, D.J. Griggs, Gerrell Martin, E.J. Reed and Khalil Murphy. Against that lineup, SFU cut a 22-point lead down to 16 with 3:42 left. Perri taking no chances, subbed back in the starters for the four bench guys for the final minutes. Other than Hucks, it was a bad night for the LIU bench.

Jason Brickman running the show vs SFU. Finished with 13 assists. (Photo Credit: Bob Dea)

Jason Brickman running the show vs SFU. Finished with 13 assists. (Photo Credit: Bob Dea)

For SFU, Umar Shannon and Stephon Mosley returned from their injuries. Shannon started and Mosley came off the bench but neither had a huge impact. Shannon was 1 of 8 for five points and Mosley finished with seven points and five boards. SFU were led by Earl Brown with 22 points on 17 shots. For the game, LIU held SFU to 40% field goal shooting including 3 for 19 from three for 19 percent. The Red Flash were held to 0.82 points per possession (76 possessions) while LIU score 1.10 points per possession (75 possessions). LIU shot the ball great yet again. They shot 53% from the field and 45% from three.

With the win, LIU stays on pace with Bryant who beat FDU Thursday night and now move into a four-way tie for second with Robert Morris, Sacred Heart and Wagner at 6-3 in the NEC.

Now, LIU Brooklyn has a day and half to get ready for the Robert Morris Colonials. RMU had their six-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers Thursday night 71-61. RMU point guard and leader Velton Jones was injured in the game with an apparent shoulder injury according to multiple tweets on Twitter during the game. Whether Jones is able to go or not on Saturday, RMU-LIU is always a heated rivalry thanks to playing each other in the last two NEC championship games. Jack Perri, as he begins his preparation for the game Saturday, talked about the matchup. “(RMU head coach) Andy Toole does a great job with them. They play really, really hard. I haven’t watched a ton of them yet. I’ll get busy with that tonight. Obviously, they’re rolling too. Looking over there, they really got things going and it’ll be a tough one. It’ll be a great environment but it’ll be exciting. I think our guys will be ready and be excited about the opportunity to play.” What would a RMU-LIU be like if the television camera weren’t rolling so the NEC got one of the networks of the worldwide leader in ESPNU to return to Downtown Brooklyn to have this game shown to the masses. It should be an entertaining and exciting game come Saturday. The WRAC should be packed and rocking for the bright lights as another chapter in the RMU-LIU saga is written.

%d bloggers like this: