It wasn’t a good post-Christmas weekend for LIU Brooklyn as both the men’s and women’s Blackbirds lost on the road on Saturday with the ladies falling 72-63 in Arizona at Grand Canyon University and the men losing 82-78 in Texas at Sam Houston State.
Between the two teams, the men had the best shot at winning. They actually led 38-37 going into halftime of that one, and were tied at 65-65 with 5:07 left to play, but couldn’t overcome a late surge by Sam Houston’s Jabari Peters, who had 13 points, five rebounds and four assists in the final minutes to help his team finish strong.
Overall it wasn’t a bad game though as Jason Brickman finished with 26 points and 13 assists, Gerrell Martin had 17 points on 4-of-5 from behind the arc, and Landon Atterberry had 17 points.
The Blackbirds even out-shot Sam Houston 63.2 percent to 48.1 and weren’t completely dominated in the paint as they tied 26-26 and were only out-rebounded 25-22, which is great for the under-sized LIU. Honestly, if not for a poorly timed 15-5 run by Sam Houston late in the fourth quarter, the Blackbirds really played well and should have won this game.
The women’s game was a bit different as they fell behind 36-29, were quickly down by as much as 20 points early in the second half, and then went on a 24-8 run to get back in the game. Their only problem was that they ran out of time after they dug themselves into such an early hole which is too bad because it would have been a nice win for a squad that definitely needs one.
Cleandra Roberts led the Blackbirds with 24 points and seven rebounds while Fanny Cavallo had 14 and eight. They shot 48.2 percent overall and did a good job getting second chance points 13-4, but struggled on the fast break 12-2.
Both teams are staying down south for the rest of the year. The men (4-8) will face Texas State on Monday night and the women (1-9) play Northern Arizona on Monday as well. After that it’s back to New York for both teams as they get set to start their respective Northeast Conference schedules in 2014.