Assisstant Sports Editor
The Pioneers ended the home portion of their regular season with a nail-biting loss on Saturday, February 23 against the NYIT Bears. The loss was only the Pioneers’ third at home this season. A second half come- back and two late-game free throws did the Pioneers in against the East Coast Confer- ence rivals.
In the loss, the Pioneers shot 43 percent from the field, but just 18 percent from three- point range. Junior forward Vaughn Allen led the team in points with 18 and also hauled in 11 rebounds. Senior guard Tobin Carberry contributed 15 points along with two assists and one steal. Sophomore forward Tyuan Wil- liams finished the game with 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Bears jumped to an early first half lead, but the Pioneers would keep it close, not allowing NYIT to get more than a three point lead. LIU Post got their first lead of the half at the 16:06 mark off a bucket from Allen, but NYIT regained their lead just seconds later. The lead changed 16 times before the end of half, which would end in a 32-32 tie.
The second half saw the Pioneers jump ahead off a jumper by Allen. The Bears again answered back, but this time LIU Post was able to jump into the lead and put some space between itself and NYIT. Carberry completed a three-point play and then buried a three-point shot several moments later to give the Pioneers a six-point lead.
At the 14:02 mark, freshman guard Emile Blackman made it a 10-point game in favor of the Pioneers. Five minutes later he gave them a 54-41 advantage.
However, junior guard Phil Izevbehai led the Bears’ comeback scoring eight of NYIT’s next 10 points to cut the deficit to just three. Blackman made it 56-51 at the 7:04 mark, but sophomore forward Charles McCann fouled Bears’ junior forward Markus Moore moments later. Moore hit both of his free throws and Bears’ senior guard Antoine Brown’s basket cut the Pioneers lead to 56-55
The Pioneers pushed their lead to four, but the Bears again rallied. With 2:34 left
to play, the Bears took their first lead of the half. They extended their lead to four points before Allen and Blackman cut it to just a one-point contest.
The Bears held on for the victory thanks to two made free throws with 19 seconds left. The Pioneers got one last shot to tie the game, but a last second three-pointer missed the mark and NYIT held on to win 65-62.
This loss against NYIT moves the Pio- neers into a tie for third place in the East Coast Conference with the Bears. Their final game of the regular season is on Saturday, March 2 when they travel to Molloy to take on the Lions at 3 p.m.