Last week, we had the first five of the top ten best LIU Brooklyn Men’s Basketball Moments of 2012-2013. You can check out numbers ten through six here. Today, we go over what I believe was the top five best moments.
5. Two straight second half comebacks in back-to-back games vs Quinnipiac
A team LIU Brooklyn won’t missing see in the NEC is Quinnipiac. The Bobcats gave LIU fits the last two seasons. This past season, LIU played Quinnipiac in the regular season finale on Senior Day. LIU Brooklyn would get a preview of C.J. Garner’s amazing run of play with this game as he went off for a then-career high 30 points in 96-90 comeback win over Quinnipiac which gave LIU the 3-seed in the NEC tournament. LIU was down by as much as 11 at the start of the second half to take as much as a 13-point lead in the comeback victory.
In the NEC quarterfinals, LIU for the second consecutive year had to make a late comeback in the NEC tournament against Quinnipiac to continue on. LIU was down by 9 with 7:57 left to go. LIU would get 50 points combined between seniors Jamal Olasewere and C.J. Garner to comeback and win once again, 91-83.
4. Jamal Olasewere’s dunk on James Madison’s Andre Nation in NCAA tournament First Four game.
This was likely the LIU dunk of the year. Senior Jamal Olasewere would get a pass from Jason Brickman off a curl play and go straight to the rim and one-hand power dunk over James Madison’s Andre Nation in the First Four game of the NCAA Tournament. Amazingly, he was given a foul call on the dunk as he was hit to the ground as Nation tried to go for the block. Immediately there were GIFs of the dunk on the web as one of the first great dunks on the NCAA tournament. You can watch the video by clicking the link below through ridethepine.com.
3. LIU’s huge win at Wagner/Olasewere becomes LIU’s all-time leading scorer
After the win against Quinnipiac in the NEC quarterfinals, LIU had to make their first road trip of the past three NEC tournament appearances to Wagner. LIU returned back to Staten Island just a couple of week after a hard-fought loss on a Kenneth Ortiz last second layup. With that loss still fresh on their minds, LIU played their most complete half of the season. They went into the locker room at the half with a 20-point lead, holding Wagner to under 40% shooting and just 25% from three. LIU would go up by as much as 24 before Wagner would cut the deficit down to 11 but we not get any closer as LIU would get a tremendous road win. Later that day, they would learn that Mount St. Mary’s would upset number one seed Robert Morris to give LIU the home court advantage in the NEC Championship game for the third straight season. Jamal Olasewere with his 12 points surpassed Joe Griffin’s 1830 career points and put him first all-time on LIU’s scoring list. Olasewere ended his LIU career with 1873 career points.
2. C.J. Garner’s NEC tournament run
In what was a playoff run for the ages, Senior C.J. Garner was determined to not see his college career end and get his team a third straight NEC tournament championship. In the three NEC tournament games, Garner scored 30, 23 and a career-high 31 points in the NEC final to complete one of the greatest run of play any LIU play has ever had. If you include the 30 he scored on Senior Day in the season finale, Garner averaged 28.5 points per game. He broke his career-high in scoring twice in a span of ten days. Garner could not be stopped. In the NEC tournament he shot an incredible 31 for 49 (63%), was 4 of 8 from three (50%) and didn’t take a single three in his career-high 31 point game in the NEC final vs MSM. His play would reward him with NEC tournament MVP honors.
1. LIU winning third straight NEC tournament championship
In an obvious choice, the top moment of the 2012-13 season for the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds was them three-peating by defeating Mount St. Mary’s in the NEC Championship game, 91-70. The championship win would give seven players their third consecutive NEC title. It would also be head coach Jack Perri’s third straight title as well but his first as the team’s head coach. LIU Brooklyn would become the first-ever NEC program to three-peat in men’s basketball and go to three straight NCAA tournaments. In what was a roller coaster season for the Blackbirds, to watch that team achieve their goal of three-peating with their best player, Julian Boyd, on the sidelines for most of the season was an amazing sight to behold. It was a determined team effort. They showed great will, determination and drive to not let their season and the opportunity of doing something historic go by the waste side. The smiles on the faces of Jack Perri and the seniors after the game that night will always be etched in my mind.