LIU Gameday Preview – Game 7 – Maine

The brand new Cross Insurance Center will host tonight’s game between LIU Brooklyn and Maine. (Photo: 929theticket.com)

Opponent: Maine (America East Conference)

Record: 1-6 (Last game: L at Dartmouth, 74-51)
KenPom Ranking: 340
Tip-Off Time: 7:00pm
Location: Cross Insurance Center – Bangor, ME
Media Game Coverage: Online: AmericaEast.TV/Audio: http://portal.stretchinternet.com/maine/
Meeting History: Fifth all-time meeting. Maine is a perfect 4-0 vs LIU Brooklyn. Maine won last meeting back in the 1999-2000 season, 84-63.

Projected Starting Lineups:

LIU Brooklyn: Elvar Friðriksson (G), Gerrell Martin (G), Martin Hermannsson (G), Landon Atterberry (F), Nura Zanna (F)

Maine: Shaun Lawton (G), Aaron Calixte (G), Till Gloger (F), Zarko Valjarevic (F), Marko Pirovic (F)

Opponent Preview:

Maine and LIU Brooklyn have some similarities at the moment. Both are young teams going through rebuilding. Maine let go of former head coach Ted Woodward after ten seasons and brought in Bob Walsh this offseason.

Walsh is trying to rebuild a program that went 6-23 a season ago. He is using a roster of nine freshmen and sophomores. So far, Maine is 1-6 with their only win coming against NEC for Wagner on this buzzer-beater shot in overtime last week.

The Black Bears are led in scoring by junior guard Shawn Lawton at 12.0 ppg. He also leads the team in steals (2.4). He scored a career-high 20 points against NJIT in a loss and 18 points in the win against Wagner. Lawton is shooting 55% from the field, hitting two-thirds of his two-point shots.

6’8″ junior forward Till Gloger is scoring 10.4 ppg. He had a big game versus Wagner where he scored 21 points against them on 9 of 13 shooting. Gloger is making 62.5% of his shots, all for two-point range.

The hero of the Wagner game, forward Zarko Valjarevic, is scoring 8.3 ppg and averaging nearly 4 boards a game. He was one rebound shy of a double-double against NJIT and scored a season-high 17 points against Wagner. Unlike his fellow teammates, he isn’t shooting nearly as well. He has only made 28.4% of his shots including hitting just 27% of his threes on 47 attempts.

Maine has at least seven players scoring at least 7.0 points/game. Marko Pirovic leads the Black Bears in rebounding at 5.1 rpg.

Maine is the middle of the pack in the America East in team scoring at 64.3 ppg. They are second-worst in the America East in turnovers per game at 17.1 per game. As a team, they make 51% of their two-point shots but a 27% three-point shooting team. They’re scoring 0.87 points/possession yet they are fastest-paced team in the America East, averaging nearly 73 possessions a game.

On defense, they’re allowing a league-worst 82.0 ppg and give up 1.13 points/possession. Opponents are shooting nearly 59% on two-point shots and making just over 44% of their three-point shots. Maine has a tendency to foul a bunch, giving up nearly 21 fouls a game. They do force nearly 16 turnovers a game which is a league-best and are the team leaders in the America East in steals at over 7 per game.

LIU Spotlight:

The spotlight in this game will be on Martin Hermannsson. He had his best scoring game of the season against Lehigh with 19 points. It was the first game this season where he made over 50% of his two-point shots. It is the second game in a row he has scored in double figures. He is still struggling shooting the three as he is just 3 for 20 so far this season from behind the arc.

Hermannsson has been consistently aggressive in going to the basket. The whistles though have not been going his way as of yet. Once he starts getting the calls, watch his average 8.5 ppg average skyrocket. He has made 14 of 15 free throws (93%) of his free throws. Also, he has to do a better job of protecting the basketball. He has 17 turnovers through six games, that is nearly three per game.

LIU’s Keys to the Game:

– Get off to a fast start. LIU did just that against Lehigh, unfortunately they couldn’t hold on to their early lead. LIU has rarely had a double-digit lead in games this season. This could be an opportunity to get one.

– Zanna needs to play smart. For the first time this season, Zanna made a couple of bad fouls which Jack Perri referred to as freshman fouls. It caused him to be pretty much a non-factor against Lehigh. LIU needs him to stay away from the silly fouls and play within the game.

– Can the seniors go back-to-back? Landon Atterberry and Gerrell Martin played well and brought their offensive game against Lehigh. They will need to bring that same effort and energy again to Maine and not revert back to the terrible games both had against New Hampshire.

KenPom Game Prediction: Maine, 73-72. LIU win probability: 47%.

Next Up: 

LIU Brooklyn returns home to face NJIT at the Steinberg Wellness Center on Sunday, December 14 at 3:30pm.

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