Assistant Sports Editor
It was one of the Pioneers most dominating performances of the season. The 102-79 victory over the Mercy Mavericks on Saturday, February 16 was just what the men’s basketball team needed after the tough 83-79 loss they suffered to the UDC Firebirds earlier in the week.
Saturday’s win over Mercy was the second time this season that the Pioneers scored 100 or more points in a game. The last time they had done it was back on January 9 when they beat Roberts Wesleyan 100-58.
It was a full 40-minute performance by the Pioneers. It took them less than one minute to gain control of the lead, and the Pioneers did not look back after that. Within three minutes their lead had hit double digits. A three-pointer by senior guard Tobin Carberry at the 14: 45 mark gave his team a 25-11 lead.
Carberry finished the game with a season high 34-point performance, shooting 13-22 from the field and 6-12 from three-point range.
The Pioneers maintained the double digit lead throughout the first half, with their largest lead coming at the 3:36 mark off a bucket from Carberry to give them a 50-30 advantage. The Mavericks managed to cut LIU Post’s lead down to 13, ending the half trailing 54-41.
The second half saw the Pioneers continue their dominance over Mercy. The closest the Mavericks came to catching LIU came when they cut their lead to nine early in the half, but they couldn’t do much after that.
The Pioneers put up 48 points in the second half, 18 of which came from Carberry. By the 8:48 mark the Pioneers’ lead had reached a 20-point margin. Freshman guard Emile Blackman gave his team a 27-point lead, the Pioneers’ largest of the half and game, with two minutes left to play. The Pioneers ended the contest with a 23-point advantage.
Blackman finished the game putting up 23 points in 27 minutes of game time. Sophomore forward Tyuan Williams and freshman guard Dillon Burns contributed 14 points each and Charles McCann also added eight points.
The Wednesday, February 13 game against the UDC Firebirds was much different in comparison to Saturday.
The Pioneers and Firebirds traded the lead 17 different times and the game came down to the wire.
The first half was a back-and-fourth struggle, as neither team could find a way to separate from one another. The largest lead came at the 10:45 mark when junior guard Michael Terry hit a three-pointer to give the Firebirds a 21-17 lead. Williams would tie the game back up after hitting back-to-back shots.
The two teams continued to trade the lead before the Firebirds ended the half leading 39-36.
UDC controlled the lead for the first five minutes of the second half, before Carberry hit a three-pointer to give the Pioneers their first lead of the half. Allen, Carberry, Burns and Blackman helped extend LIU Post’s lead to nine points with 12 minutes left in the game.
But UDC put together a comeback in the final five minutes with junior guard Ralph Watts tying the game at 74 with 3:21 left to play. The Firebirds would go on a 6-0 run before the Pioneers rallied in the final minute to cut the lead down to one. However, two made free throws by Terry and a missed shot by Burns with 11 seconds ended their chance of coming back. The Pioneers fell to the Firebirds by a four point margin, 83-79.
Despite the loss, a bit of history was made. For LIU Post, Allen recorded his 1,000th career point as a Pioneer, becoming the 21st player to do so in the program’s history.
The Pioneers record now stands at 16-7 overall and 11-4 in East Coast Conference play headed into a matchup with the 5-19 Saint Thomas Aquinas Spartans tonight at the Pratt Center at 7:30. All your Pioneers basketball coverage can be found on 88.1 FM and WCWP.org.