Lady Blackbirds drop NEC opener to Wagner

Letava Whippy led the Blackbirds with 16 points, but they failed to hold on to an early lead during a 71-65 loss to Wagner on Saturday. Photo courtesy of LIU Brooklyn Athletics.

Letava Whippy led the Blackbirds with 16 points, but they failed to hold on to an early lead during a 71-65 loss to Wagner on Saturday. Photo courtesy of LIU Brooklyn Athletics.

It looked like the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds had finally started to turn things around as it won two out of three after opening the season 0-8. However, they took a step back on Saturday as they dropped their first Northeast Conference game of the season 71-65 to Wagner College in Staten Island.

The Blackbirds looked really good in this one early on as they built up a 22-10 lead within the first 10 minutes of the game behind strong performances by Cleandra Roberts, Sophie Bhasin and Letava Whippy. Wagner quickly caught up though as it finished the first half on a 15-4 run.

Things didn’t get better in the second half either as Wagner increased their one-point lead to a 12-point lead when Jasmine Nwajei hit a layup with 11:16 to play. LIU Brooklyn had a chance trailing by just two points with 2:36 left to play, but Wagner’s Stephanie Blais hit a three and the rest of the team hit seven of their last eight free throws in the final two minutes to keep the game out of reach.

Whippy finished with 16 points, Bhasin and Roberts each had 15 and Fanny Cavallo had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Blackbirds shot 35.3 percent as a team and out-rebounded Wagner 43-36.

The Blackbirds (2-10 overall) are back in action on Monday night when they head down to Maryland to take on Mount St. Mary’s. That’s the same team that just played St. Francis really tough so it’s going to be a hard-fought win if the Blackbirds can get it.


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