The LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds beat Incarnate Word on Tuesday night at Barclays Center, 66-59.
Incarnate Word made a name for itself after they blew out St. John's, 73-51, on Friday night at Carnesecca Arena.
LIU Brooklyn Head Coach Jack Perri said of that being a motivating factor for his team, "Not for me, but I think it opened the guys' eyes, and they had said like, 'ooh, they beat St. John's and by that much,' so I think that gave them a little bit more focus. I knew how good this team was going to be. Last year, they beat Nebraska. They had Cal up at halftime this year out there. They're just a unique team that has shooting all over the floor and they can play fast, play free, and they look for and go for steals quite a bit."
LIU Brooklyn was led by Martin Hermannsson, who had 18 points (4-11 shooting, 1-1 on threes, 9-10 on free throws), eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Hermannsson is a sophomore from Reykjavik, Iceland, and he is averaging 14.6 points and four assists per game.
Perri said of the progress Hermannsson is making this season, "We knew how good Martin was even last year, he just has a certain poise. He's a kid that really just gets it. He has substance to him, he's like a pro. He plays hard, he does whatever you tell him, he's focused that way. He's a really, really talented player, ability to shoot really handle the ball. He's been a pleasure."
Jerome Frink had 14 points on 6-for-9 from the field, 1-2 on threes, eight rebounds, four steals, and an assist. Joel Hernandez had nine points (3-5 FG, 1-1 threes), seven rebounds, and an assist. Nura Zanna had seven points (3-8 FG), six rebounds, and a steal. Aakim Saintil had seven points (1-4 FG, all threes), three assists, two rebounds, and a steal.
Perri said of the game, "My team likes to give me agita, with some of the things down the stretch, just a little bit of lack of focus, otherwise the game ends up being an 18-point game instead of going down the stretch. The reality is it was a tough game for a lot of reasons, we're still even in finals, and guys have finals tomorrow. Martin (Hermannsson), he was doing a paper literally at 5:00, before we came over. You can see the glazed look on guys in practice. It's a tough time, it's gone later, it's the 23rd, it's usually be done by now."
"To fight through, I thought our guys did a good job. I said prior to the game that I was going to play a lot of guys regardless. Aakim (Saintil) ended up getting really two quick fouls, and that helped me make sure I got everybody in, and some guys did a really good job. Raul Frias gave us some good minutes defensively and he was very active. Glenn Feidanga I thought did a really good job in his limited minutes. Trevon Woods I thought did some really good things. Overall, great to get a non-conference win against a quality opponent," said Perri.