Trevon Woods game-winning runner defeats Niagara in overtime

Trevon Woods has taken opportunity of guys going down to his advantage and making the most of it. (Photo: Bob Dea - BHJ)

Trevon Woods has taken opportunity of guys going down to his advantage and making the most of it. (Photo: Bob Dea – BHJ)

In life, opportunities comes knocking every once in a while. Yet, it always comes down to how you take advantage of your opportunities when they present themselves. For sophomore Trevon Woods, he is taking full advantage of his opportunities and is making plays. None play bigger than the baseline runner with 2.6 seconds remaining in overtime to give LIU Brooklyn a 80-79 win at Niagara Saturday afternoon.

Woods for the second straight game surpassed his career high, this time scoring eleven points but none bigger than the final two points he scored to win the game.

LIU Brooklyn needed a late rally to send the game into overtime. The Blackbirds were down nine with 6:47 remaining in the second half after the Purple Eagles went on a 18-5 run in about a five minutes span. It looked like LIU was done but then LIU went on a 14-3 run of their own to take a two-point lead with 1:54 remaining. Niagara’s Dominic Robb would send the game into overtime with a layup with fifteen seconds left. Jerome Frink attempted a game-winning three for LIU with three seconds left but it was off the mark.

In overtime, the game stayed tight with neither team getting more than a two-point lead through the entire overtime. With fourteen seconds left in the extra session and the score tied at 78, junior Aakim Saintil, who had another great game for LIU, was called for a very cheap foul which resulted in his fifth foul of the game and nearly sent LIU Brooklyn head coach Jack Perri into a combustible state from the anger he had, and sent Niagara’s Matt Scott to the free throw line for two shots. Scott made one of two and gave LIU the opportunity to win it and ultimately lead to Woods’ heroics.

This game was pretty much tightly contested throughout. There was six ties and seven lead changes.

Trevon Woods, who has seen his playing time increase due to unavailability of junior Glenn Feidanga due to illness and freshman Julius van Sauers due to a high ankle sprain, has taken advantage of increased playing time the last two games. He had found his shot from three which was almost non-existent until the previous game against Fordham and now he has shot 3 of 5 from three in back-to-back games and put up career highs in both games. He is averaging 10 ppg in his last two games in 22.5 minutes off the bench.

Saintil, who got his second consecutive start, once again played a tremendous game. He led LIU with a team-high 21 points along with five assists. He got to the free throw line ten times and went 7 of 10. He also had three more steals and is currently ranked inside the top 20 nationally in steals per game.

Sophomore Martin Hermannsson came on in the second half and overtime to score fifteen of his seventeen points. He also dished out seven assists and that now moves into a tied for third in the NEC in assists per game at 4.1 apg. He was able to get to the line to get his points on a day he shot just 5 of 14 from the floor.

Redshirt sophomore Nura Zanna is starting to look like the Big Z we all saw most of last year. This is now two straight good games for Zanna. He played in a career-high 36 minutes in his return back to the starting lineup after one-game hiatus and scored a season-high 12 points before fouling out in overtime. LIU did a good job of looking for him a little more inside and he did a great job of playing under control offensive and taking his time and getting his shots to fall.

Junior forward Jerome Frink, who came off a career game against Fordham, struggled somewhat on the offensive end going 4 of 12 for 12 points but finished with his second double-double of the season with 11 rebounds.

Somewhat concerning now is the recent play of both Iverson Fleming and Joel Hernandez. Both have seen their playing time diminish as their play has diminished. Fleming has scored just six points in the last two games and is has only taken six shots in the two games since his season-high 17 points against UMass Lowell. Hernandez, who came off the bench for the first time this season, struggled from floor with a 2 for 11 game and has scored seven combined points since his season-tying high of 16 points versus UMass Lowell.

LIU shot the three-ball lights out in the first half which really kept in the game and down just two points at halftime, going 8 for 13 from three. The rest of the game, LIU hit only one more three, going 1 for 11 in the second half and overtime.

Niagara (3-8) were led by Matt Scott and Emile Blackman who both finished with 22 points each. Niagara shot 53% from the field and scored 40 points in the paint.

LIU Brooklyn now goes to 5-3 and wins their second road game of the season and joins Wagner as one of two NEC teams with five wins so far this season.

LIU also has their third win of the season of three points or less and are 4-1 so far this season in games decided by five points or less, so the Blackbirds are doing a really good job of winning the tight ones. Their only tight loss so far was the loss at Fordham Tuesday night. Last season, LIU was 6-6 in games decided by five points or less so they are definitely off to a good start in the close ones this season.

The Blackbirds will have six days off for finals before returning back to action with a two-game home stand starting with Sam Houston State Friday night at the Steinberg Wellness Center.

LIU has put themselves in good position to have themselves a winning non-conference record which they can get with just one more win in the final three non-conference games. It would be LIU’s first since the 2010-11 season in which they went 8-3 that season.


  1. This team never quits Huge testament to Coach Jack and staff Thanks Nelly

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