The LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds coughed up a 21-point first-half lead and lost 61-54 to Mount St. Mary’s on Saturday afternoon at Barclays Center.
LIU came out firing and opened up a 21-2 lead, as The Mount missed 15 of their first 16 shot attempts. LIU’s biggest lead came when Martin Hermannsson hit a couple of free throws to make it 25-4 with 6:13 left in the first half.
Mount St. Mary’s responded and closed the half on a 15-4 run, cutting LIU’s lead to 29-19 at halftime. LIU was led by Gerrell Martin, who had 10 points in the first half, and Joel Hernandez chipped in six. It was a total team effort, as LIU had seven different scorers in the first half.
LIU Brooklyn opened the second half in much the same way they did the first, jumping out to a 7-0 run capped by a Martin three with 16:40 left that made it 36-19. Hermannsson got a layup with 15:22 on the clock to make it 38-24 LIU. That is important because Mount St. Mary’s went on a 13-0 run capped by a Kristijan Kajina layup with 10:12 left to cut LIU’s lead to 38-37.
Mount St. Mary’s kept chipping away, and a Junior Robinson three with 6:58 left in the game tied it at 45. That Robinson three started a 10-0 run that ended with a Chris Martin three to make it 52-45 Mount with 3:49 left.
The play of the second half occurred when Mount St. Mary’s had the ball with 2:21 left and a 56-49 lead, after an LIU turnover, one of 11 they committed in the second half. Junior Robinson, who had just completed a layup, had the ball at the top of the key and dribbled around his defender to the hoop, back to the free-throw line, and finally down the lane for an easy layup, and he was fouled by Joel Hernandez. When Robinson completed the three-point play, it was 59-49 Mount St. Mary’s, and that sealed the improbable win.
LIU Brooklyn Head Coach Jack Perri said afterwards, “Alright, that’s a disappointing one obviously and that’s a little bit frustrating to play like we played in the first half, which has been pretty consistent for us. Our first halfs have been pretty good, again I probably felt we should have been up a little bit more at halftime, we missed some easy ones. Then, in the second half, it’s not real hard to figure out what you have to do against a team like this, you’ve gotta take care of the basketball and we did not do that. We did a really poor job in the second half of keeping our composure against that, where we did a great job in the first half and they had just two steals. In the second half, there were just portions of time we did a really poor job of handling that pressure and then what they want to do is shoot threes and we did a good job in the first half, but in the second half, we did a poor job of contesting threes. I thought they beat us on some 50/50s, and the biggest one was when we had two guys against their one, and at the end of the shot clock, that kid hit that three. I thought that was a huge play because we had played well defensively on that possession. Disappointed, frustrated, but we’ll get back to work.”
Mount St. Mary’s was led by Chris Martin, who had 15 points on 4-for-15 shooting and 2-7 on threes, with 2 rebounds. Junior Robinson had 12 points (4-8 FG, 1-2 on threes), 5 assists, and 2 rebounds.
LIU Brooklyn was led by Gerrell Martin, who had 20 points on 6-15 shooting and 3-6 on threes, with 7 rebounds, and 2 assists. Martin Hermannsson had 10 points (3-7 FG, 0-3 on threes), 3 rebounds, and 2 assists