LIU Brooklyn falls at Sacred Heart by 8 and see another opportunity go by the wasteside

This year’s LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team are consistent at one thing especially in NEC play and that thing isn’t good. They are good at following wins with a loss this season.

After an important win on Thursday night against Mount St. Mary’s, they followed it up with a 98-90 loss at Sacred Heart Saturday afternoon at the Pitt Center. The loss was their third straight loss after a win and eighth loss after a win in the last nine games after coming off a victory.

For the third time in their last six games, the Blackbirds were able to put up 90 or more points in a game. The bad part is, they are just 1-2 in those games as they gave 98 points to Sacred Heart, a season-high for them.

The LIU defense was quite frankly, not very good. In fact, it was terrible, especially their three-point defense. LIU allowed Sacred Heart to make eleven threes and shoot 50% from three in the game. The fact that SHU’s sharpshooter Cane Broome was just 2 of 7 from three and the rest of the team was 9 for 15, shows how bad a job LIU did in defending the three-point arc in this game.

For the second straight game against Sacred Heart, freshman Sean Hoehn hurt LIU. He scored a season-high 19 points in their first meeting last week and on Saturday, Hoehn connected on 3 of 5 from three and finished with 13 points as well as dished out nine assists.

Hoehn was just one of four Sacred Heart players to finish in double figures. Broome had a relatively off-game and still put in 19 points on 18 shots before fouling out. But it was the Pioneers’ front court who did a lot of the damage on the Blackbirds Saturday. Jordan Allen and Tevin Falzon hurt LIU offensively and on the boards. Both players finished with double-doubles. Allen scored a season-high 20 points to go along with 12 rebounds and Falzon fiinshed with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Add on Matej Buovac’s eight points and eight rebounds off the bench and it was clear front court domination by the Pioneers.

Yet, even with the poor defense, LIU could have still won this game but they shot themselves in the foot at the free throw line where they clearly dominated in getting to the line. LIU Brooklyn went to the free throw line 42 times in the game but they missed fifteen free throws. That is the second straight game they missed at least 15 free throws. They missed 17 free throws in their win against the Mount Thursday night. This is from a team that had been very good from the charity stripe most of this season and against Sacred Heart, those missed freebies came back to haunt them.

Another bad stat for LIU was their own three-point shooting. They were only 5 for 23 from three. This team scored 90 points in this game missing 15 free throws and hitting just five three-pointers. They would won this game going away had they made more of their free throws and hit a few more of their three but instead it was an eight-point loss.

The Blackbirds allowed Sacred Heart to score 54 second half points and were out-rebounded in the game by thirteen.

Martin Hermannsson, who was face down in this game for a few minutes after getting hit on a make going to the basket and had a lot of LIU fans holding their breathe for a few moments, finished with a career-high 25 points, his fourth straight game with 20 or more points.

Aakim Saintil got his first double-double as a Blackbird with 23 points and 11 assists and just two turnovers in playing a season-high tying 39 minutes.

Jerome Frink finished with 15 points, his 18th straight double figure scoring game, to go along with eight rebounds. Joel Hernandez finished with 13 points, his seventh straight double-digit game.

Zanna only played 12 minutes due to, of course, foul trouble. Glenn Feidanga was also in foul trouble. Both combined to play 26 minutes and score 7 points and grab five rebounds.

LIU didn’t get much from their bench. Sacred Heart’s bench out-scored LIU’s bench 21 to 11.

The win for Sacred Heart gives them a three-game winning streak and they have now won five out of their last six games to propel them to 7-5 in the NEC and in a tie with Mount St. Mary’s for the coveted final first-round home playoff game for the upcoming NEC tournament.

LIU, meanwhile, falls to 5-7 in the NEC and just can’t get over the hump. They are now tied with Robert Morris for 7th place but with RMU winning the first meeting, they own the tiebreaker over LIU so the Blackbirds are actually in 8th place and in the final NEC tournament playoff spot.

With this game on Saturday, LIU enters a stretch where four of their next five are on the road and that lone home game is on Thursday against one of the three teams in first-place in Wagner, who LIU had to come back from 17 points down in the second half to beat on the road last month.

With road games at St. Francis Brooklyn, Robert Morris and Saint Francis U. looming after the Wagner game, this streak will likely make or break LIU’s season in whether or not they make it into the NEC tournament. A losing streak now would be catastrophic.

I mentioned LIU woes after wins this season, well, LIU’s record after a loss is 7-4. This why they are 11-12 team this season and are two games under .500 in NEC play, they run hot and cold from game to game. You just don’t know what type of game this LIU team is going to give you game-in and game-out. There is no consistency to this team this season. You can’t even narrow it down to them being inconsistent at just one thing. They are inconsistent at just about everything. It’s maddening. It’s frustration. It is the 2015-16 LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team in a nutshell.

Comments

  1. Syncere Jenkins says:

    Coach Perri said that Martin Hermanson is suppose to be the team superstar but hey everyone can be a superstar on paper .Has anyone heard that the Strength coach Coach Richards is leaving the program ? Keep beliving in coach jack perri he won with coach ferry’s players

  2. Michael Hernandez says:

    Hi Nelson,
    We don’t have a talented enough team to win while playing minimal defense. A team that can impose their will and control a game–or pull one out if needed. We’re just not that good. Opponents don’t fear the Blackbird. Players haven’t developed up to expectations. To me, this is basic–it’s about talent, which, with the exception of a few, we woefully lack.
    Michael Hernandez

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