BROOKLYN — The LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds have started 2017-2018 season with an 0-2 record after opening weekend.
However, it’s nothing to worry about, and there are some key takeaways from this past weekend.
Raiquan Clark had a career high on Friday night, with 34 points to go along with seven rebounds. It looks as though Clark is ready to take on a starring role on offense this year without Jerome Frink on the roster.
Joel Hernandez finished 23 and six rebounds, three assists and two blocks, Zach Coleman added 14 points and seven boards, while Jashaun Agosto had 14 points and four assists.
The Blackbirds’ core looked strong against the Tulane Green Wave, and they battled until the very end. They trimmed the deficit to 91-88, thanks in large part to Hernandez, who scored five points in a mini 7-1 run with two minutes left. Hernandez and Coleman would both hit threes with 23 seconds left, bringing the score to 98-96.
Tulane would then go 4-for-4 from the free throw line to close the game.
In a game like this, the Blackbirds were in it late and put themselves in a position to win. They had a good second half, shooting 50 percent from the field. However, the Green Wave shot 51.4 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Blackbirds by a 46-32 margin.
After the loss the Blackbirds had to push it aside and square off against the Fordham Rams.
This game went similar to their game with Tulane. The Blackbirds got the game within single digits in the final two minutes, but could not complete the comeback after being down 20.
It looks likes the Blackbirds are currently a second half team early on in the season. Against the Rams, they did just about everything right.
They beat them on the boards, 41-35, and outscored the Rams in the paint, 32-28. Clark had himself another strong game, finishing with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Hernandez had 12 points and Agosto added 11 of his own.
One thing they need to improve on now is overall team defensive, so that two players like Ivan Raut and Prokop Slanina for the Rams, who combined 10-for-13 from downtown, scoring 40 of their team’s 81 points doesn’t happen again.
Lets see if these adjustments are made on Wednesday, as the Blackbirds have their home opener against the College of New Rochelle Blue Angels inside the Steinberg Wellness Center. The Blackbirds should be able to get the win, much to the delight of their home fans.
Check back to College Court Report for post-game reaction and notes.
– N. Wright