By Michael Otero
On Wednesday, Dec. 31, the men’s basketball team (5-6) traveled to Garden City, N.Y. to do battle with the Panthers from Adelphi University (4-7). The Pioneers, who were down double digits in the first half, managed to fight back and spoil the New Year’s Eve party for the Panthers, with a 65-54 win.
The first half was a back and forth battle, as both teams traded blows. With just over eight minutes remaining in the first, and the Pioneers down 19-12 on the scoreboard, LIU went on a 16-0 run in a five minute span to go in front 28-19. During that spurt, junior guard Akosa Maduegbunam knocked down two shots from deep while senior forward Tyuan Williams capped off the run with a long jumper. The Pioneers brought their lead into halftime and were up 30-23 at intermission.
Immediately out of the break, the Panthers upped the tempo and went on a 12-3 run to regain the lead at 35-32. Once again trailing on the scoreboard, the Pioneers needed to respond, and they did so in a big way. The team went on an 18-7 run to go up 50-42 with just over seven minutes left in the match. Sophomore guard Jared Hall was the catalyst during that run, as he provided six of his 13 points for the afternoon.
The exclamation point on the game was a fast break dunk by sophomore forward Greg Dotson, which pushed the Pioneer lead to double digits with a little over a minute. The dunk seemingly ended all hopes of a Panther come from behind victory. For the game, senior forward Charles McCann finished with eight points and eight boards, while Dotson had an all-around game, chipping in each category and helping the team get the W. In addition to Hall’s 13 points, he also snagged eight rebounds and accumulated five assists off the bench.
Head LIU Post basketball coach Erik Smiles and his squad are back in action on Wednesday, Jan. 7, when they travel to Dobbs Ferry to take on East Coast Conference rival Mercy College. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.