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LIU Men's Basketball Extends WRAC Winning Streak With 70-61 Victory Over Columbia
Box Score

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - The trio of Julian Boyd, Jamal Olasewere and Jason Brickman combined for 51 points, and the LIU Brooklyn men's basketball team put together a strong defensive showing to pick up its first victory of the season, a 70-61 win over Columbia on Wednesday evening at the Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center.

Boyd closed with a team-best 19 points, and Olasewere and Brickman each had 16 points in the victory, which extends the Blackbirds' win streak at the WRAC to 28 games and also marks the first in the head coaching tenure of Jack Perri.

Five straight points from Boyd, including an old-fashioned three-point play, gave LIU a quick 8-2 lead just over three minutes into the game. The pace would slow down considerably after the opening moments, however, as the Lions drained the shot clock down to single digits on a majority of their possessions.

Consecutive three-point baskets from Columbia point guard Brian Barbour gave the visitors their first lead at 11-10 at the 11:25 mark. But LIU responded with a three-ball of its own from sophomore Gerrell Martin to regain a two-point cushion.

The two teams would trade baskets over the next five minutes, before a quick 7-0 run that included a trifecta and a thunderous dunk from Olasewere pushed the Blackbirds ahead 24-17 with less than a minute left in the opening half. Columbia's Grant Mullins knocked down a jumper with 46 seconds on the clock to close the scoring in the period and cut LIU's lead to 24-19.

In the second half, the Blackbirds were able to solve Columbia's defense to the tune of 46 points - nearly double their output of the first half. A three-pointer from Brickman gave the home squad a 27-21 cushion less than a minutes into the stanza, but six straight from the Lions tied the game up at 27-27 with 17:21 to play.

Four points from Mark Cisco, who had a team-high 18 points and 13 rebounds for Columbia, briefly gave the Lions a 31-30 lead at the 15:38 mark. But the Blackbirds would respond with seven straight points, capped by a three from Brickman to extend the lead back to six at 37-31.

The margin would fluctuate between two and six points over the next six minutes, before a three-point play from Olasewere gave LIU a 51-44 edge with 7:19 to go. Olasewere and Brickman each knocked down free throws to push the lead to 53-44, but the pesky Lions would not go down without a fight as Steve Frankoski drained a three to put the score at 53-47 with 5:47 left.

Two free throws from Cisco cut LIU's advantage to five, but a big three-pointer from senior Brandon Thompson from the top of the three pushed the lead back to eight. Despite missing a number of foul shots, the Blackbirds were able to fend off Columbia down the stretch to earn the win.

LIU Brooklyn looks for its second straight win on Saturday, Dec. 1 against Lafayette. Tipoff is set for 4:00 p.m.

NOTES: LIU went to the free-throw line 36 times but converted just 20 of them (55.6 percent)... Brickman added six assists while Thompson added four assists, three steals and a pair of blocked shots... LIU shot 61.1 percent from the field in the second half (11-18) and 52.5 percent for the game (21-40)... On Saturday, the Blackbirds will look to avenge a previous loss to the Leopards this season, a 98-94 overtime defeat on the road in Easton, Pa. on Nov. 12.
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