City Sports Report

Offensive struggles continue for LIU Brooklyn

Nura Zanna

The offensive woes for LIU Brooklyn continued with a 75-69 loss to Fairleigh Dickinson. The defeat was the third in a row for the Blackbirds.

What went wrong?

Fairleigh Dickinson’s freshman guard, Darian Anderson, came into the game averaging 15.0 points in his last four games. By halftime against LIU Brooklyn, he’d already dropped 21 points on 8-for-9 shooting. Anderson finished with a career-high 26 points on 10-for-12 shooting.

The Blackbirds could not get on-track offensively, once again shooting under 40 percent from the field. In the first half, FDU made it difficult for LIU Brooklyn to get anything easy in the paint. Freshman point guard, Elvar Fridriksson, continues to struggle for LIU Brooklyn.  In the second half, with head coach Jack Perri moving Martin Hermannsson to the point, the Blackbirds went on a 15-2 run to get take a 65-62 lead with 4:24 left. Once LIU Brooklyn took the lead, it appeared they’d built enough momentum to hold off FDU. However, the Blackbirds were unable to get timely baskets or convert free throws down the stretch, while the Knights would score five straight to regain the lead for good.

It didn’t help LIU Brooklyn’s case either that there were some questionable calls in this game by the referees,  specifically in the second half. Late in the game, with the Blackbirds in the midst of a run, a technical foul was called on Joel Hernandez for hanging on the rim after a monster two-handed dunk over Darius Stokes. It looked as if Hernandez was trying not to come down on top of Stokes, however the official decided otherwise, which infuriated Perri.

“(The official) said he pulled himself up on the rim. I don’t know if there was a guy underneath him. He said he would have called it anywhere. I obviously disagreed on that.” said Perri after the game.

Bright Spots

Gerrell Martin followed up a strong offensive performance against Bryant with another one against FDU. Martin shot 6-for-14 from the field, finishing with 23 points in 37 minutes played.  I asked Perri after the game for his thoughts on Martin’s recent play. “That is great” said Perri. “Hopefully he continues it. He is doing more than just shooting. He is taking the ball to the basket and he is doing some good things that way. Hopefully he can remain consistent.”

LIU Brooklyn also received solid contributions from Joel Hernandez (15 points) and Iverson Fleming (7 points). The defense of Hernandez on Darian Anderson in the second half was instrumental in LIU Brooklyn’s run to get back in the game. “Joel was awesome.”said Perri after the game. “He defended (Darian Anderson) in the second half. He obviously made some big plays offensively also.”

On the other side

Anderson and Mustafaa Jones (19 points) give FDU an exciting 1-2 punch in their backcourt. Darius Stokes (four blocks) asserted himself in the post against LIU Brooklyn. The Knights (7-6 | 2-0 Northeast Conference) have now won three in a row.

What’s Next

LIU Brooklyn (4-9 | 0-2 Northeast Conference) has been unable, so far, to take advantage of the early part of their NEC schedule. The Blackbirds will look to conclude their three-game home stand, to open league play, with a win when Sacred Heart (7-8 | 1-1 Northeast Conference) comes into the Steinberg Wellness Center, January 8. The Pioneers are coming off a 75-66 victory over Central Connecticut. Tevin Falzon had a career night, scoring 22 points while pulling down 13 rebounds.

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