Talk about a dramatic start to your season.
Junior guard Joel Hernandez completes a wild last five seconds sequence with a three-point banker at the buzzer to give LIU Brooklyn an exhilarating 71-68 win against Loyola (Md.) in Baltimore Monday night.
Here is how the final five seconds went:
Video Credit: Patriot League Network/Campus Insider
Hernandez will get the majority of the credit for making the banker at the buzzer but give credit also to Jerome Frink for coming up with the huge block on the defensive end and outletting the ball to Martin Hermannsson and for Hermannsson to have the wherewithal to spot Hernandez at the last moment with the pass and for Hernandez to know to get the shot off as quickly as possible and banking in that three. It was an incredible sequence of heads up plays that lead to that game-winning shot.
Loyola came back from a 13-point second half deficit to tie the game at 64 with two minutes to play. Two different pairs of free throws would give LIU back the lead before Loyola free throws would once again tie the game at 68 with 43 seconds remaining. Martin Hermannsson would turn the ball over on the next LIU possession to give Loyola a chance at the win until the wild game-winning sequence.
LIU started the game off cold, like 1 for 7 shooting cold. Luckily for LIU, their defense were forcing Loyola turnovers and Loyola couldn’t get their offense going early on as well which gave LIU time to get things going.
Newcomers Aakim Saintil and Julius van Sauers help provide a lift off the bench in the first half and began sparking LIU on the offensive end. Saintil looked impressive in his LIU debut. He played 25 minutes off the bench and finished with 15 points on 5 of 10 shooting.
LIU Brooklyn head coach Jack Perri early on went to his bench and brought in four guys after LIU got off to their slow start which shows the depth he has on his team this season.
LIU shot 50% from the field in the second half after the poor shooting first half in which they shot 33% and 3 of 13 from three.
Once again, for the second straight game, Loyola shot themselves in the foot with poor free throw shooting which was the difference. Loyola went 15 of 23 from free throw line conversely LIU went 12 of 16.
LIU also out-rebounded the Greyhounds 40-33 and allowed Loyola to make only 3 three-pointers the entire game.
Joel Hernandez and Martin Hermannsson both finished with a team-high 15 points. Hermannsson also added 7 assists while Hernandez added 9 rebounds. Hermannsson flashed some beautiful passes in this game to open teammates while Hernandez worked hard on the glass and was able to penetrate and make some short jumpers in the lane.
Jerome Frink in his LIU debut was hampered by foul trouble in the first half which held him to just seven minutes played but he got it going in the second half and displayed some crisp passes to open teammates and let you understand why the LIU coaching staff rave about this guy. Frink finished with 8 points and 8 rebounds in his LIU debut and shot just 4 of 12 from the field although he missed several makable shots as he returned to action after having to sit out last season coming from FIU.
The only freshman to play for LIU was Julius van Sauers who was also impressive in this game. van Sauers showed great poise for a freshman. He shot 2 of 4 from the field for 8 points and showed good ball handling and passing ability in helping breaking Loyola’s press. His international experience showed. He is going to be a good one. LIU’s bench outscored Loyola’s 21-9, due to Saintil and van Sauers.
Loyola’s Jarrod Jones led all scorers with 18 points. Andre Walker and Franz Rassman each scored 12 for the Greyhounds who fall to 0-2 to begin their season.
LIU wins just their third season opening road game since 1996. It is their first road season opening win since 2003 in which it was former LIU head coach Jim Ferry’s second season.
LIU will take the euphoria of this thrilling win back to Brooklyn to start a two-game home stand to open up home portion of their schedule which begins with the home opener at the Steinberg Wellness Center Thursday night against Maine.
As you would expect from a dramatic win like this one, Twitter went off!
Can’t wait to see what LIU Brooklyn can do for an encore in the home opener.