Assistant Sports Editor
In their first ECC game of the season on December 1, the men’s basketball team defeated the University of Bridgeport Purple Knights, 89-71, at the Pratt Center.
Four Pioneers players scored double-digit points, with junior forward Vaughn Allen leading the way with 23. Allen shot 7-12 from the floor and made nine of his 12 free throw shots. Senior guard Tobin Carberry shot 8-16 from the floor and shot 3-4 from outside the arc. He finished the game with 20 points of his own. Freshman guard Emile Blackman and senior guard Billy Butler contributed 10 points each by the end of the game.
As a team, the Pioneers shot 55 percent (33-60) from the field and 69 percent (9-13) from three-point range. The Purple Knights shot 48 percent (28-58) from the field and just 28 percent (4-14) from behind the arch.
Like previous matchups last year with the Pioneers’ ECC foes, the game started off close. The Pioneers and Purple Knights spent much of the first half vying for the lead. Through the first 10 minutes of the half, there were nine lead changes and neither team could pull ahead by more than five points.
It wasn’t until there was 7:08 left in the half that the Pioneers took a 30-22 lead off a three pointer from Carberry. It was the first time either team had extended the lead past five. The Purple Knights cut the lead to five when Darian David scored a three-pointer a few minutes later. The Pioneers countered with a 7-0 run, highlighted by a layup from Allen and a three-point play by Carberry. LIU Post ended the half with a 45-35 lead.
In the second half, LIU Post picked up where they left off at the end of the first half and controlled the play from start to finish. The Purple Knights pulled within 10 points several times in the second half, but never mounted a serious comeback. The game ended with an 18-point victory for the Pioneers.
The second half performance was one of the team’s strongest of the season. They put up 44 points, 12 of which came off turnovers, and did not relinquish the lead once. The Pioneers move to 2-3 for the season and 1-0 in ECC play. Their next game is on Saturday, December 8, at Dowling College at 3 p.m.