The holidays obviously did some good for the psyche of the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team. After losing by 36 points last Saturday to Temple, the Christmas break could not have come at a better time for the Blackbirds. They got away from hoops for a few days, they spent time with their families and got to eat a nice home cooked meal. They return back to the court this afternoon with renewed energy and fight and for 35 minutes of this game, they looked they were going to come out of this game at Sam Houston State with a surprising road win considering how undermanned this team currently is at the present time.
As much fight as the LIU had, it still wasn’t enough as LIU Brooklyn in a valiant effort, loses down in Texas to Sam Houston State, 82-78 to fall to a record of 4-8 this non-conference season.
The Blackbirds started off the game red hot, going on a 15-5 run to begin things. But a good Sam Houston State team (8-4) would compose themselves and get back into it before long.
Landon Atterberry, who was coming off his worst game of the season versus Temple, came out of the gate strong with a perfect first half of shooting. He hit all five of his shots in the first half and led LIU at the break with 12 points. He only had one first half foul contrary to the five fouls he picks up in seven minutes against Temple.
LIU head coach Jack Perri decided to play mostly 2-3 zone in the first half to help protect his thin front court and it did help some as the only front court players to get two fouls in the first half was E.J. Reed.
Jason Brickman who only needed eight assists in this game to move up to 22nd on the NCAA career all-time assist list with 834, got nine assists in the first half alone. He also scored nine points in the first half but committed un-Brickman like five first half turnovers.
LIU Brooklyn after an awful shooting game against Temple, shot an incredible 72.2% from the field in the first half and hit five of their six three-point attempts. Even with the hot shooting, they were up just one at the half due to 15 first half turnovers and giving up six offensive rebounds on the glass.
In the second half, Jason Brickman went from passer to scorer as he went off for 17 second half points on his way to a new career-high 26 points on just nine shots. Brickman was a perfect 11 for 11 from the charity stripe. In this game, he surpassed 1,000 career points becoming the 33rd LIU Brooklyn player to do so.
But unfortunately for LIU, Brickman also committed a season-high nine turnovers. In fact, LIU Brooklyn as a team committed a season-high 28 turnovers and those turnovers led to 23 Sam Houston State points.
While LIU Brooklyn was only out-rebounded by three to Sam Houston State (25-22), they were a -7 on the offensive glass and gave Sam Houston State a +9 points advantage in second-chance points.
For Sam Houston State, they were led by Kaheem Ransom who busted out of a scoring slump to score 20 for the Bearkats. Jabari Peters and Nathaniel Mason both finished with 16 points each. The Bearkats score 1.088 points per possession (75 possessions) while LIU scored 1.015 ppp (77 possessions).
LIU rebounded from their poor shooting game against Temple by shooting 63.2% from the field and going 9 for 14 from three and also 21 of 27 from the free throw line. They allowed Sam Houston State to shoot 48.1% from the floor including 12 of 25 shots from three.
Turnovers was the culprit in this loss on Saturday. LIU did a poor job protecting the basketball and uncharacteristically their floor general was the main culprit tonight. But Brickman along with Atterberry, Reed and Gerrell Martin was pretty much most of the offense in the pivotal second half. The rest of the team had nine points total in this one.
Atterberry finished with 17 points on 7 of 8 shooting before fouling out for the second straight game. Martin also had 17 points including 4 of 5 from three. Reed scored nine points on a perfect 4 of 4 shooting but he had six turnovers. Troy Joseph off the bench scored six. Iverson Fleming got his first start for the Blackbirds and finished with two points in 26 minutes with five assists.
Perri played all eight scholarship players he had available. Junior Gilbert Parga missed his third straight game due to a strained achilles to his foot.
LIU will have a short turnaround before their next game as LIU will face Texas State on Monday to finish off the 2013 and non-conference portion of their schedule before entering into a another long break before the start of NEC play on January 9th against St. Francis Brooklyn.