High-flying Blackbirds top Mount St. Marys

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The freezing temperatures and snow outside certainly had no effect on Long Island University’s shooting over the weekend.

The Blackbirds men’s basketball team was on fire, shooting 50 percent from the floor en route to a 75–71 Northeast Conference win over Mt. Saint Mary’s at the Wellness Center last Saturday night. They have won two of their last three games following a three-game losing streak.

“We are still a work in progress,” said LIU coach Jack Perri. “We’re focusing on each day, each game.”

Five players hit double figures in scoring, notably freshman reserve forward Glenn Feidanga. He had 15 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.

Senior guard Jason Brickman continued his stellar year by scoring 14 points and dishing out 12 assists. Brickman now has 905 assists in his three-plus seasons at LIU, and leads the nation in assists with a 9.7 average per game.

E.J. Reed scored 12 points, including an emphatic dunk in the second half. Forward Landon Atterberry and D. J. Griggs each added 10 points. At 7–12 overall and 2–4 in conference, wins have been hard to come by. However, the Blackbirds play well at home, and three of its next four games are at Wellness Center.

Long Island University, which led by five at halftime, increased its lead to 47–41 on a beautiful pass from Brickman to Reed for a slam. A Feidanga bucket gave the Blackbird flock its largest advantage at 58–46 with 12:17 to go. Mount St. Mary’s (7–12, 3–3), didn’t seriously threaten again after that.

Feidanga scored 15 points in just 21 minutes on seven of eight attempts from the floor to pace LIU. Perri said the freshman was playing injury free for the first time this season. However guard Gilbert Parga is out indefinitely with an arm injury.

The Blackbirds out-rebounded the Mount 39–33 in one of the few games where it has won the battle on the boards.

“Rebounding is not something we’ve done a good job of this year,” Perri said. “It’s disappointing. However, our team is starting to focus on that.”

The Blackbirds played zone defense for most of the game and held Mount guard Sam Prescott to just 14, after he scored 25 points against St. Francis earlier in the week. Reserve guard Byron Ashe led the Mount with 18 points.

Long Island University is now heading into the heart of the conference schedule, but Perri said the team is finding its way.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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