By Thomas Scavetta
Assistant Sports Editor
Junior guard Jared Hall may have had a career-night scoring 27 points, but it wasn’t enough as the LIU Post Men’s Basketball team (13-5) fell short last Wednesday against the University of the District of Colombia (8-9), 84-73, at the UDC Sports Complex in Washington, D.C.
This East Coast Conference battle had the Pioneers on their heels as they found themselves playing from behind the majority of the night. After trailing 21-16 in the first half, the Pioneers went on a 12-5 streak in less than three minutes to grab a 28-26 edge over the Firebirds. Senior guard Dillon Burns ended the run with a go-ahead lay-up at the 5:26 mark of the opening half.
Although the Pioneers shot the ball well during that stretch, the hosts reclaimed a 40-37 lead heading into the locker room. Hall led all scorers with 11 points.
In the latter stanza, the Green and Gold went on a 7-0 burst to tie the game up at 46, but the Firebirds took complete control from that point on as the hosts improved to 6-3 in ECC play.
In addition to Hall’s performance, junior forward Greg Dotson collected 14 points, four rebounds, four steals, and three assists in the defeat. Burns chipped in with nine points, three boards, and dished out two helpers. The Firebirds were led by junior guard Martin Campbell who logged 22 points and six rebounds. Fellow junior guard Kasim Chandler totaled 21 points and eight dimes, with 16 of those points coming in the second half.
After falling to 8-2 in ECC action, Head Coach Erick Smiles and his LIU squad will take the floor tonight when they square off against the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Conn. The Pioneers won the first meeting back on Dec. 9, 62-54.
LIU senior guard Akosa Maduegbunam shared his thoughts on tonight’s matchup: “The key to slowing down Bridgeport is sticking to our defensive principles that Coach Smiles has instilled in this program. Our goal is to play solid half-court, man-to-man defense, which forces our opponents to take low percentage shots.”
In their previous matchup, the Pioneers struggled from the eld. “It’s a long season and shooting is a scal thing that comes and goes. As a team, we try to play off our bigs and share the basketball. Our defense is our offense, so we try to get out and run after forcing shots on the defensive end,” Maduegbunam continued. LIU has used their size to their advantage all season long by playing inside out and off their bigs like junior forward Barrington Alston and senior forward Michael Phillip. “Those guys can both score and pass out of the post, so if we play off of them we’ll be able to dictate the tone of the game,” he concluded.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.