By John Torenli
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Maybe they should start calling him Coach W.
Brooklyn College head men’s basketball coach Steve Podias, affectionately known to his players as Coach P, thanked those most responsible for his nearly two decades of success with the Bulldogs after an historic win Wednesday night in Manhattan.
“Milestones are team efforts that represent a team effort,” Podias said after BC topped CUNYAC rival John Jay College of Criminal Justice at The Doghouse, giving him career victory No. 200.
“My players are special and I thank all that have played for me in my time at Brooklyn.”
Podias, who captured CUNYAC championships and Division III NCAA Tournament berths with the Bulldogs in 2009 and 2010, had to wait a bit longer than expected to reach the milestone as the Bulldogs (11-6, 4-3 CUNYAC) had dropped three in a row heading into Wednesday’s game.
But BC didn’t leave anything to chance against the Bloodhounds (8-11, 1-6), running out to a 52-30 halftime lead before coasting the rest of the way.
Senior Tyshawn Russell poured in a game-high 31 points on 13-of-23 shootings, including a dazzling 4-of-5 performance from 3-point range. The 5-foot-11 guard got help from fellow fourth-year starter and South Shore High School product Amil John, who finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Kavon Baker added 18 points and nine rebounds and fellow junior Steven Grant registered a double-double with 15 points and a team-high 10 rebounds as BC posted its first win since topping Hunter on Jan. 14.
Podias took over as head coach in 1994 and has produced three 20-win seasons and also captured an ECAC Tournament berth in 2008, setting the Bulldogs up for their back-to-back title campaigns thereafter.
Though BC was denied a third consecutive CUNYAC championship following a semfinal loss to the College of Staten Island last February, Podias’ team figures to be a contender during next month’s league tournament, beginning Feb. 18.
The Bulldogs are currently third in the CUNYAC South, trailing unbeaten COSI (7-0), and York (3-2) with eight games remaining. BC will be back in action looking for Podias’ 201st victory Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. against visiting CCNY at Brooklyn’s West Quad Center.
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Coming off their first victory in nearly two years, the NYU-Polytechnic men’s basketball team got off to a solid start Wednesday night against visiting St. Joseph’s at Downtown’s Jacobs Gymnasium.
But the Jays ran out of steam shortly thereafter, dropping an 84-60 decision to the top-ranked Golden Eagles to slip to 1-15 overall and 1-10 in Skyline Conference action.
Perhaps bolstered by their first win in 49 games dating to Jan. 25, 2009, the Jays ran out to an early 12-10 lead before falling behind 35-28 at the half. Soon afterward, St. Joe’s pulled away for good by throttling coach Nolan Adams’ squad with a tenacious press defense.
Brooklyn native Jethro Auguste resumed his strong freshman season for the Jays, scoring a game-high 17 points. Reigning Skyline Rookie of the Week Evan Azzam added 13 and senior Alex Westphal pulled down nine rebounds for NYU-Poly, which will host Mount Saint Vincent on Saturday.
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Entering last night’s NEC Championship game rematch at Robert Morris, the Blackbirds of LIU-Brooklyn were unbeaten in league play with a perfect 8-0 mark.
Sophomore point guard Jason Brickman, who emerged as a key player on last year’s NCAA Tournament team, has been a big factor in the Blackbirds’ ongoing success.
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound dynamo from San Antonio was rewarded for his recent performances Wednesday after being tabbed a member of CollegeSports360’s Prime Time Performers Weekly Honor Roll.
Brickman averaged 17 points and six assists during last week’s tilts against Mount St. Mary’s (Jan. 19) and Wagner College (Saturday). Known primarily for his play-making abilities and nagging defense, Brickman has added some offensive firepower to his game.
He hit a career high-tying five 3-pointers in the win over the Mount and hit all three of his attempts beyond the arc, while picking up eight assists in the nationally televised victory over the Seahawks.
Coach Jim Ferry’s on-the-court quarterback has been an eerily accurate marksman from long range of late, drilling a mind-bending 15-of-19 3-pointers over his last five games.
If Brickman can keep that up, the Blackbirds will be virtually unstoppable come NEC Tournament time with the inside tandem of junior forwards Julian Boyd and Jamal Olasewere benefiting from the hot-shooting point man’s outside shooting.
Following their showdown with the Colonials, the Blackbirds are scheduled to visit Loretto, Pa., on Saturday to take on Saint Francis (Pa.).
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On the women’s side, the Brooklyn College experienced the Joy of Six with Wednesday night’s 59-41 victory at John Jay.
The Bulldogs’ sixth straight victory improved their overall record to 14-5, but more importantly boosted their CUNYAC mark to a perfect 7-0.
Junior guard Charnelle Saint Laurent scored a team-high 17 points and senior forward Justine O’Callahan, the reigning CUNYAC Player of the Week, remained hot with 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
The Bloodhounds tested the Bulldogs early, running out to a 5-0 lead after the opening tip. But BC used an 11-0 half-closing run to take a 31-17 lead into intermission.
The Bulldogs will be back at it Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at the West Quad Center against CCNY.
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The women of NYU-Poly suffered a 70-38 defeat at St. Joseph’s on Wednesday night, dropping to 2-6 in Skyline action despite 15 points from senior Margaux Pickell and 13 by junior Shelby Bruns.
The Lady Jays host Mount Saint Vincent on Saturday.
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In other local college sports news, LIU-Brooklyn freshman Brittany Hart was named the Northeast Conference Women’s Bowling Rookie of the Week on Wednesday.
The Troy, N.Y. native finished the St. Francis (N.Y.) New Year Knockdown fourth in the overall individual standings.
The first-year Blackbird joined NEC Bowler of the Week, and All-American Danielle McEwan in averaging in excess of 21.0 pins per frame over the course of the two-day event. Hart posted a team-leading 21.39 frame average and a 210.4 traditional average over the course of five team games, a span that included wins over two nationally-ranked rivals.
Hart shot a 220 game as part of LIU’s 1010-936 win over No. 10 New Jersey City. Hart fired a 228 in 1070-898 triumph over the neighborhood rival Terriers, who ranked 20th in the latest edition of the NTCA Top 20 Coaches Poll.
The Blackbirds are back in action this weekend at the Kutztown Invitational in Reading, Pa.
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Junior bowler Kristina Terpo, a Brooklyn native and graduate of Sheepshead Bay High School, was named to the College Sports 360 Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll on Tuesday.
Terpo, who anchors the Terriers’ nationally ranked unit, has the highest team average this year at 183. She rolled a high game of 233 against defending national champion University of Maryland-Eastern Shore at the Terrier New Year Knock Down, while guiding St. Francis to a program-best second-place finish at the event.
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Senior Jessie Gaines and rookie Shakia Williams have both earned Northeast Conference weekly awards for stellar performances at last weekend’s Great Dane Classic.
Gaines was named NEC Field Athlete of the Week while Williams nabbed NEC Rookie honors.
Gaines won the triple jump title at the tournament, leaping a season-high 12.59 meters to capture the gold. Williams ran the third-fastest 200-meter time in the NEC this season, finishing in 25.12 to win her heat and grab sixth overall out of 62 competitors.
The LIU Brooklyn women’s indoor track and field team is back in action this weekend for the Metropolitan Championships at Manhattan’s Armory.