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LIU-Brooklyn men’s basketball looks to end slide in Belfast

After three straight losses, Blackbirds head to Ireland for HOF Classic

November 28, 2018 John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
LIU-Brooklyn senior Raiquan Clark is the NEC’s second-leading scorer as the Blackbirds head to Belfast, Ireland, this week to participate in the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic. Photos courtesy of LIU-Brooklyn Athletics
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The defending Northeast Conference champion LIU-Brooklyn men’s basketball team will travel over 3,000 miles this week in search of its first win in more than two weeks.

Losers of three straight games, including Saturday afternoon’s home defeat to NJIT, the Blackbirds will meet the University of Albany on Thursday in the opening round of the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic.

“We couldn’t be more excited to participate in the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic,” said second-year Blackbirds head coach Derek Kellogg.

“It is a tremendous opportunity for our guys to see the beautiful country of Ireland, experience a new culture and get to play great competition while doing so.”

It’s also a chance for LIU to get back in the win column.

Since a 3-0 start, the Blackbirds have been blown out in San Francisco, edged in overtime at Milwaukee and then absorbed their first loss in three games at the Steinberg Wellness Center this year with last weekend’s 77-70 setback to NJIT.

Senior slasher Raiquan Clark has been at the forefront of the Downtown Brooklyn program’s attack thus far this season, ranking second in the NEC with 22.3 points per contest.

The New Haven, Connecticut, native did his best to catapult the Blackbirds past NJIT on Saturday, pouring in 31 points and ripping down 10 rebounds, but LIU was never able to recover from a 13-point halftime deficit despite shaving the lead down to four on several occasions down the stretch.

Junior guard Jashaun Agosto dished out a career-best 11 assists in the loss, which dropped the Blackbirds back to .500 and sent them off to Ireland in search of at least one win in the two-round tournament, which will host its consolation/championship games on Friday.

Kellogg is no stranger to the HOF Classic, having participated in the event as head coach of the University of Massachusetts during his nine-year tenure there before coming here to Brooklyn last season.

“I have had the great opportunity to work with the Hall of Fame for many years now, and their tournaments are always first class,” he noted.

Following their long trek, the Blackbirds will return stateside for a series of local non-conference matchups with the likes of Saint Peter’s, Stony Brook, Binghamton and Fordham before officially beginning defense of their NEC crown Jan. 3 at Sacred Heart.

The LIU women’s squad is still seeking win No. 1 this year after six consecutive defeats, including Saturday’s heartbreaking 65-62 overtime loss at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.

Freshman sensation Brandy Thomas continued her brilliant early season play for the Blackbirds, scoring 15 points and grabbing a game-high 14 boards for her sixth consecutive double-double.

Sophomore Jeydah Johnson added 20 points for LIU, which has lost seven in a row overall since stunning third-seeded St. Francis Brooklyn in the semifinal round of last year’s NEC Tournament.

The Blackbirds will try to snap their skid here on Thursday against visiting UMass-Lowell.

The SFC Brooklyn men’s hoops squad climbed to 3-3 with Saturday’s 75-63 triumph at Niagara.

Graduate student Glenn Sanabria scored 18 points for the Terriers, lifting himself into the rarefied air of the 1,000 career-point plateau.

Sophomore guard Chauncey Hawkins led SFC with 22 points, 20 of which came in the second half, when the Terriers ran away from the host Purple Eagles.

SFC are scheduled to visit Presbyterian on Wednesday night before returning to Remsen Street on Monday to host local rival St. Joseph’s Brooklyn at the Pope Center.

The Terriers’ women’s team, which is off to a strong 4-2 start, is slated to meet Army Wednesday night in West Point, N.Y.

SFC suffered a 100-77 blowout loss to Big East rival Seton Hall on Sunday afternoon as senior standouts Maria Palarino and Ally Lassen each scored 18 points.

Over at Brooklyn College, the Lady Bulldogs are off to an impressive 2-0 start following Tuesday night’s 76-56 rout of Delaware Valley in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Junior forward Alexandra Moogan, a graduate of Brooklyn’s Midwood High School, poured in a game-high 22 points for the BC, which will look to continue the perfect start to its campaign Friday night during its homecoming contest against CUNYAC rival York College at the West Quad Center.

The BC men’s team improved to 4-1 following Tuesday night’s 80-76 win over Centenary in Hackettstown, N.J.

Junior guard Jordan Wright shot the lights out by hitting 10-of-13 from the field, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc.

The Bulldogs are preparing to host Keystone College at the West Quad Center on Wednesday night before joining the ladies’ squad for Friday’s homecoming festivities against York.

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