By Thomas Asbaty
On Wednesday, Feb. 8, the men’s basketball team beat the Mercy Mavericks, 81-55, at the Pratt Recreation Center. The Pioneers were hot from behind the arc all night, hitting 15 three-pointers. It was only the third game this season at which the Pioneers had 15 or more threes.
LIU got off to a hot start, opening the game with a 13-3 run in the first 3:38. Senior forward Greg Dotson, junior guard Kyle McLeggan and freshman guard Jared Rivers all hit baskets in the early run.
The men shot a crazy 59.3 field goal percentage in the first half, with 66.7 percent from downtown. The green and gold took a 45-21 lead into half.
The Pioneers, who never trailed, went on a 22-7 run for eight minutes starting at the four-minute mark of the game.
Dotson recorded his team best eighth double-double of the year, having 18 points and 15 rebounds. Dotson shot a perfect 4 for 4 from the free throw line and 6 for 11 from the field.
Aary Bibens also sunk 18 points, along with five rebounds and three assists. Mcleggan earned 11 points and two rebounds, and Mosley collected 12 points, four assists and two rebounds.
Head Coach Erik Smiles was pleased with his team’s performance “We performed well, we executed and made shots. Anytime you make shots you are going to look better than how you played overall, but we guarded in the first half and made shots throughout the game.”
Smiles and the Pioneers will head to Rochester on Saturday, Feb. 11 to play Roberts Wesleyan College, an ECC rival that they defeated earlier in the season, 84-64.
“Roberts is a good team with good size and length on the perimeter,” Smiles said. “We have to do a good job of guarding their guys and taking away their shooters.”
The Pioneers currently sit 7th in the ECC polls, with a 6-7 conference record. The team has five games left on the schedule, all against ECC opponents. “We are going to have to do what we did tonight,” in order to make the playoffs, Smiles said. He stressed that his team would have “to have guard, execute, rebound the ball, stay together, and be positive. “