St. Francis Brooklyn 74 LIU Brooklyn 69 (Overtime)

Gerrell Martin flying for one-hand slam in the first half vs St. Francis Brooklyn Thursday night at the Steinberg Wellness Center. (Photo: Bob Dea)

Gerrell Martin skying for a one-hand slam in the first half vs St. Francis Brooklyn Thursday night at the Steinberg Wellness Center. (Photo: Bob Dea)

It wasn’t “the” Battle of Brooklyn game but it was another great installment in the St. Francis Brooklyn-LIU Brooklyn rivalry as the Terriers stormed back from a three-point deficit in the final 39 seconds of regulation to force overtime and defeated the Blackbirds for the second time this season in a wild 74-69 game on LIU’s senior night at the Steinberg Wellness Center on Thursday night.

LIU Brooklyns senior class L to R): Chris Carter, Landon Atterberry and Gerrell Martin. Photo: Bob Dea)

LIU Brooklyn’s senior class (L to R): Chris Carter, Landon Atterberry and Gerrell Martin. (Photo: Bob Dea)

The Blackbirds who were coming off a pair of miserable performances last week came out of the gate looking re-energized and playing with purpose and intensity, stormed out in front to take a ten-point lead midway through the first half. It was looking like a night LIU would be getting back into the win column.

“It’s a big week for us.” said LIU head coach Jack Perri after the game. “I think our guys really responded (from the Wagner game). They needed to. Our guys did a really good job competing.”

St. Francis Brooklyn (21-9, 15-2 in the NEC) had nothing to gain standings-wise as they had already clinched home court throughout the NEC tournament by virtue of being regular season champions with two games to spear.

Coming in to the game, it was hard to tell if the Terriers would play the game like they needed it or decide to rest up some of the starters and get the reserves a little more playing time and start getting ready for the NEC tournament next week. SFBK head coach Glenn Briaca decided on the latter.

The Terriers’ three big players in seniors Jalen Cannon, Brent Jones and junior Amdy Fall all played over 30 minutes and all were big part in helping get the Terriers this win. Cannon scored 26 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and in the process became St. Francis Brooklyn’s all-time career leading scorer with 1,666 points in his great career. Cannon also played a game-high 41 minutes.

St. Francis Brooklyns  Jalen Cannon became the schools all-time career leading scorer with 26 points against LIU Thursday night. Photo: Bob Dea

St. Francis Brooklyn’s Jalen Cannon became the school’s all-time career leading scorer with 26 points against LIU Thursday night. (Photo: Bob Dea)

“I’m just so happy for Jalen.” said Braica after the win. “I’ve had the amount of points he needed (to get the SFBK record) on my phone for about a month and a half. He is a great kid.”

Jones scored 12 points in 36 minutes and scored five big points down the stretch in regulation. Fall was pretty quiet until overtime in which he came up huge defensively with three big blocks in the closing minutes. He scored eight points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked six shots in 31 minutes to help get the Terriers their 21st win of the season.

“It’s a typical LIU-St. Francis game, when you come to these games anything can happen.” said Braica. “These games are great. They’re not pretty but they’re great.”

Meanwhile, it was another rough loss for the Blackbirds who have now lost three straight and are in danger of falling to the eight-seed for next week’s NEC tournament and possibly face this same Terriers team back at the Pope Center for the third time this season.

It looked like LIU’s defense in the second half which held the Terriers to a poor 23% shooting was going to be enough to get them by even though their own offense wasn’t that much better. LIU shot 32% for the game (18 of 56 shots) and made just 4 of 19 threes but it looked like it might be just enough until a wild closing minute of regulation saw a three-point LIU lead turn into a three-point SFBK lead which turned into an overtime game after Martin Hermannsson calmly sunk three free-throws after begin fouled on a three-point attempt with four seconds left.

LIU had a chance to win it in regulation after Brent Jones turned the ball over off his leg dribbling the ball in LIU’s front court. LIU senior Gerrell Martin looked to play the hero but his three at the horn fell way short and the game went to overtime. From there, Fall and Cannon took over for the Terriers, as one by one a LIU player kept fouling out and they couldn’t get a key basket to fall.

Redshirt freshman Nura Zanna just missed a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds in the loss to the Terriers. Photo: Bob Dea)

Redshirt freshman Nura Zanna just missed a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds in the loss to the Terriers. (Photo: Bob Dea)

LIU committed a season-high 27 turnovers. Once again, LIU was getting pressure from a press defense that the Terriers utilized. In this recent three-game losing streak, LIU has averaged 20 turnovers per game and that is with their opponents going to a press and giving the LIU guards a ton of difficulty. LIU also committed 35 fouls in this game, sending the Terriers to the free throw line 54 times.

“The reality is we fouled too much and we turned the ball over against the press.” said Perri. “It wasn’t a press that we should turn the ball over against. It’s unfortunate. We got to pick each other up and stick together and go from here and try and get one on the road against Sacred Heart.”

Gerrell Martin in likely his final home game of his LIU career finished with a team-high 12 points. Redshirt freshman Nura Zanna also scored 12 for LIU and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds before fouling out in overtime. Four other Blackbirds finished with seven points including senior Landon Atterberry who got his first start since January 5th for senior night. Glenn Feidanga scored eight.

“I give credit to my teammate, they competed like coach said.” said Martin. “We prepared right for the last two days. We just got to fine tune some things. I don’t think it was effort at all. Everybody stepped up. We just got to get back into that practice mode, we don’t have a lot of time because we play Sacred Heart Saturday and just found how we can eliminate some turnovers we had today.”

The LIU loss coupled with SFU’s win, Wagner’s loss to RMU, and Sacred Heart’s win put LIU in a three-way tie for sixth with Sacred Heart and Wagner at 8-9 in the NEC standings. Due to tiebreakers, Wagner would get the six-seed while LIU is currently the seven-seed and Sacred Heart is the eight-seed. On Saturday, LIU heads to Sacred Heart and the winner will be no worse than a seven-seed.

LIU can still get to a five-seed if they win against Sacred Heart and SFU loses at RMU and Wagner loses at Mount St. Mary’s. If LIU loses at Sacred Heart, LIU gets the eight-seed and a third game against St. Francis Brooklyn on Wednesday in the NEC quarterfinals. The winner of Saturday’s LIU-Sacred Heart game avoids playing the Terriers.

It was a playoff like atmosphere on Thursday and it was likely be the same on Saturday as that game will have big stakes in avoiding having to face the mighty Terriers in their tiny but loud gym. LIU will need to quickly put this loss and this losing streak in the rear-view mirror and get ready for another heated game on Saturday because for intents and purposes, their playoffs have begun.


  1. Mike Hernandez, Class of '71 says:

    To me, the game was sloppy. Both teams didn’t play well. LIU is young. They have a lot to learn. I really believe Coach Perri is still trying to find the right rotation. He’s right to try to play a lot of guys so they can get as many minutes as they can. They’re freshmen and need real game experience. Disagree with Ray. Zanna is good and will get better. He’s just got to learn to play smarter. He’s a freshman for goodness sake. The Woods brothers are good and will get better. I believe, Trevon (Number 0??), has the talent to take over a game–the go-to guy. Trevin will come along. Iverson Fleming is good. He needs more minutes. He has shown the talent to take over a game. Hernandez has developed into a tough physical player. Just has to control turnovers. The Icebirds need more experience. Look, the way I see it, ALL our freshman and sophomores are good. Give them (freshman and sophomores) as many minutes as possible–even when the game is on the line. Put their feet to the fire as long as possible. This is the future.
    That being said–TWENTY SEVEN turnovers–inexcusable. What did we have about 80+ possessions and we turned it over close to 30 times–about 30+% of possessions. Horrible!! Value each possession as if it were your last.

    • @Mike hernadez ive been saying this about Turnovers the whole season but people think Im hating I just know the game and what it takes to WIN at this level and the Iceland guards look good until they feel they heat and then they melt dont believe me the facts are the facts !!!!

      • It’s not just the Iceland kids who turned the ball over. Hernandez had 4, Zanna had 4, Fleming had 2 in 5 minutes. Teams win as a team and lose as a team. And blaming kids is awful easy from the comfort of your own living room.

  2. @Nelson C what kind of Jive amateur writer are you sir ? You pick and choose when people are allowed to comment ? Everyone has an Opinion whether you like what they say or Not . For you to close up the comment section because people go against this coach and his recruitments is actually a favor in the long run to help this program and not personal !!! bUT ANYWAY THIS IS MY LAST POST BECAUSE I BELIEVE i HAVE MADE MY POINTS ABOUT THESE ICELAND GUARDS AND THEIR INABILITY TO HANDLE PRESSURE AND THEM BEING TURNOVER MACHINES. BUT THIS IS WHAT COACH WANTED EUROPEAN GUARDS WITH NO USA EXPERIENCE & ONE THING CANT TEACH THIS EITHER YOU HAVE IT OR YOU DONT AND I CAN COUNT MAYBE 6 GAMES COACH PERRI LOST BECAUSE HIS INABILTY TO COACH AND ADJUST !!!

    • Steve Brodzinski says:

      Hey Mr. Chow good to hear from you again, thought we lost another fan during the 4 game winning streak but I see you’re back after a 4 game losing streak. Nice to have you back sir. Tough loss, showed their youth in the final 4 minutes of the game….. As always good job Nelson, it is healthy to have discussion, however for grown men to be so angry because an 18 year old didn’t take over the game is sad.

      • 4 game winning streak was fools gold now on the verge of a 4 game losing streak stop believing the hype i would have been on here to give credit where its do but unfortunately Nelson C wants Coach Perri to like him rather than report the truth .

      • So now you’re attacking me. You are the biggest BS artist around. All you do attack people left and right. I tried to let you voice your opinions but all you want to do is be argumentative. I don’t have anymore time for your nonsense. Hopefully next season you can find another team and another forum to spew your nonsense to.

  3. SFC is clearly a better team than the Blackbirds, but the way that LIU lost still stung. In Perri’s tenure, the first time I remember their having trouble with the press was the playoff game at Wagner two years ago, in which Wagner almost came back from a huge hole by pressing. Blackbirds must have turned it over five times in a row that game. It didn’t matter, because LIU won, but it seems that the team always struggles against the press, and has made zero progress in attacking it. Even when the guards are able to get the ball over the half-line, they don’t seem to realize that the reason teams don’t press all the time is that it makes them very vulnerable to transition attacks. We saw this perfectly last night: on the occasions when LIU got over the half-line, they immediately slowed down and got into a half-court set. Why? They had a 3 on 2 each time! Typically either Zanna or Feidanga had a 1 on 1 opportunity with the rest cleared out. Simultaneously, they had a corner shooter totally unguarded (usually No. 5 Woods). And yet each time they decided to let SFC re-set its defense. They were trying to run clock, but it was way too early for that, especially with their creaky foul-shooting. Look, obviously some of the players lost their composure–Fridriksson, most notably. But the failure was really a coaching failure. They need to find a way to 1) survive the press and 2) make teams pay for it, so that they have to back off.

  4. Stu class of 68 says:

    We should have learned how to handle a full court press after the game against the Mount at the Barclay’s center

  5. Dan from Staten Island says:

    That game was outright ugly, no matter which team you were rooting for. Blackbird fans should be really happy that Zanna will be around for another three years. The guy could truly develop into a match-up nightmare because of the combination of his size and strength. Cannon appeared to be in a lot of pain when he hurt his wrist in the first half. (Terrier Nation probably had a collective heart attack when that happened.) Nonetheless, he proved why he likely will be the NEC POY by once again registering big numbers despite the injury and becoming the Terriers’ all-time leading scorer during that game. After being relatively silent for a good portion of what turned out to be a typically physical neighborhood tussle, Brent Jones managed to make an impact late in the second half with some big plays. However, it was Amdy Fall who determined the outcome. His presence around the rim continues to impact Terrier games so many ways and this one was no exception. It was apparent that the absence of Glenn Sanabria hurt the Terrier’s long-ball attack – they had real problems from three throughout the game. The mere fact that SFC was able to pull this out on the road when they weren’t on their game highlights the heart and tenacity of this team.


%d bloggers like this: