By Thomas Scavetta
Assistant Sports Editor
With just 17 seconds remaining in regulation, senior forward Tyuan Williams sunk a go-ahead lay-up that sent the men’s basketball team (14-11) to a critical 61-56 win against Molloy College (13-11) in an East Coast Conference showdown at Quealy Gymnasium last Wednesday, Feb. 18.
Senior forward Charles McCann and junior guard Devon McMillan sealed the deal for the Pioneers at the charity stripe, watching three out of their four combined free throws fall in the closing seconds. Although the Lions kept storming back from several deficits, the Green and Gold’s clutch foul shooting propelled them over the hosts.
Williams recorded his fifth double- double of the season, scoring 18 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in the victory. The senior finished 5-of-13 from the field and 8-of-12 from the foul line while senior guard P.J. Torres continued to shine off the bench, scoring 13 points and hauling in five rebounds. Junior guard Dillon Burns corralled seven boards and dished out two assist while McCann tallied five points and five boards.
On Saturday, Feb. 21, the Pioneers returned to the floor as they mounted a comeback after digging themselves into a 15-point first half hole to capture a 62-46 win against Queens College (6-18) in another East Coast Conference tilt at the Pratt Recreation Center.
After falling behind 17-2 in the opening stages of the contest, the Pioneers responded with a thunderous 29-3 stretch to grab a 31-20 cushion heading into the locker room. Sophomore forward Greg Dotson collected 16 points, featuring three dunks, one of them at the buzzer. Torres and sophomore guard Jared Hall accounted for five points apiece during the spurt. LIU dominated points in the paint, second chance opportunities, and bench points during the first half.
During the latter stanza, the Knights reduced the deficit to seven points, but a quick 10-2 burst by the hosts sent the visitors packing. McMillan capped off the sequence for the Pioneers with a fade away jumper.
Dotson had an amazing performance, collecting his third double-double of the season. He scored a season-high 24 points, shooting 10-of-17 from the field and hauling in 10 rebounds in 28 minutes of action. Torres racked up 13 points, eight boards, four assists, and four steals. Williams contributed 11 points and nine rebounds while McMillan recorded five points, one assist, and a steal.
Head Coach Erik Smiles and his Pioneer squad look to continue their winning ways when they host Daemen College on Senior Night Friday, Feb. 27. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.