LIU Brooklyn Knocks Off Manhattan
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Senior guard Brandon Thompson buried seven three-pointers leading LIU Brooklyn to a 75-48 victory over Manhattan (3-6) on Sunday. A 44-point second half lifted the Blackbirds to their 31st straight win at the Wellness Center, the longest active home win streak in the country. Sophomore Emmy Andujar led Manhattan with 12 points and five rebounds in a short-handed effort without injured Preseason All-MAAC First Team guard George Beamon (16.8 ppg).
LIU Brooklyn (5-4) picked up its fifth straight victory with its lights out shooting. Thompson finished with a game-high 23 points going 8-for-12 from the field. He hit 7-of-10 three-point field goal attempts leading a 54.5% (12-22) effort beyond the arc.
The Blackbirds were also without one of their top players in senior forward Julian Boyd (18.5 ppg) who missed the contest with an injury. LIU Brooklyn's senior forwards Booker Hucks and Jamal Olasewere stepped up in Boyd's absence. Hucks posted 12 points, while Olasewere scored 11 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Olasewere anchored the Blackbirds' dominant effort on the glass doubling Manhattan in the rebounding column (50-25).
Manhattan and LIU Brooklyn exchanged the lead four times and the score was tied on six occasions in a competitive first half. After missing their first 10 shots, the Jaspers got on the scoreboard at the 13:27 mark with Rhamel Brown's layup. Manhattan shot 52.9% (9-17) the rest of the half.
The Jaspers held a 20-17 lead with Roberto Colonette's free-throw with five minutes remaining in the half before the three-pointers began rapidly falling for the Blackbirds. LIU Brooklyn sank four of its last five field goals of the first half from downtown to carry a 31-26 lead into the break. The Jaspers active defense managed to turn LIU Brooklyn over 12 times in the first half, exceeding its 11.4 turnover per game season average that was top-30 nationally.
Thompson got going early in the second half with back-to-back threes within a 30 second span. It ignited a 35-8 run that was topped off with three consecutive three-pointers by Thompson. The senior from San Antonio put LIU Brooklyn out front 66-34 with his seventh trey that was rushed from 26-feet out before the shot clock expired.
Manhattan junior point guard Michael Alvarado recorded his fourth double-figure scoring effort in the last five games with 10 points. Sophomore Donovan Kates added 10 points to the total. The Jaspers struggled shooting 30.2% (16-53) from the field and 4-for-21 (19.0%) from three-point territory.
Manhattan has six days to regroup before meeting South Carolina at Barclays Center on Saturday. The Jaspers and Gamecocks are the middle game of the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational tripleheader. Tip off is set for 5:30 p.m. Discounted tickets for Manhattan alumni and friends can still be purchased online.