The LIU Post women’s and men’s basketball teams seasons have officially begun, but in different fashions. The women battled and edged out a one point victory in its opening game against Adelphi University while the men dropped each of the first two games in the Southern New Hampshire Tournament.
On Saturday, November 10, the Lady Pioneers (1-0) defeated the Adelphi University Panthers on the road by a score of 82-81. LIU Post was down 43-33 at the half, but the Lady Pioneers clawed their way back for a win in the first game of the year. The Lady Pioneers had all five starters reach double figures in scoring, led by senior guard Ashley Caggiano and sophomore guard Chelsea Williams who each had 21 points. Caggiano was 9-10 from the floor and missed only one of her four attempts from beyond the arc.
In the win, senior forward Nicolette Marciniak and senior center Samantha Kopp each registered double-doubles. Marciniak scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Kopp added 10 points and hauled in 13 rebounds. Junior guard Alexis Peters had a solid all-around game as she dropped 14 points, secured five rebounds, and dished out five assists.
Last season, the Lady Pioneers finished with a 21-10 record and went 11-5 within the East Coast Conference. However, the season ended on a bitter note as the team lost a heartbreaker to Southern Connecticut State University in the first round of the NCAA Division II East Regional by a final score of 58-57.
The Lady Pioneers next game is Saturday, November 24, in the Dowling Holiday Tournament against Felician College at 12 p.m.
Unfortunately for the men’s basketball team, it has not gotten off to the same quick start that the women’s team has. The Pioneers have begun the season 0-2 after dropping each of the two games in the Southern New Hampshire Tournament.
In the first game, the Pioneers fell 81-70 to the Franklin Pierce University Ravens. In the loss, junior forward Vaughn Allen and sophomore forward Tyuan Williams each had double-doubles. Allen had 19 points and 10 rebounds on 7-10 shooting, and Williams had 14 points and 16 rebounds. Williams absolutely destroyed everyone on the offensive glass, as 11 of his 16 rebounds were offensive.
Last year, the Pioneers were an up-tempo, high-powered offense that ran up and down the floor at a furious pace. With a quick system like this, the team is expected to make outside shoots from beyond the arc. Last season the Pioneers were 36 percent from three point range and took advantage when the defense allowed them to take an open three pointer. In the opening game, the Pioneers were 2-11 (18 percent) when taking three pointers. The only two threes made were by freshman guard Dillon Burns.
The following day, the Pioneers were narrowly defeated by the Southern New Hampshire University Penmen 60-57. Allen led all scorers with 21 points. Senior guard Tobin Carberry accounted for 11 points but struggled as he shot 2-11 from the floor. The Pioneers once again abandoned the three-ball as the team shot 1-9 (11 percent) from beyond the arc. A bright spot for the Pioneers was sophomore forward Charles McCann off the bench scoring eight points, grabbing five rebounds, and blocking four shots in 21 minutes of action.
Last season, the Pioneers finished with a 23-6 record and were 15-1 within the East Coast Conference. The Pioneers ended up winning the ECC Championship, but lost in the first round of the NCAA Division II East Regional to Adelphi University 66-65.
The Pioneers have its home opener on Saturday, November 17, at 3 p.m. against Post University (1-1). Both LIU Post women’s and men’s teams begin ECC games on Saturday, December 1, against Bridgeport University.