Brickman’s third assist of the contest, a dish to junior Troy Joseph cutting to the hoop for a layup at the 13:39 mark of the second half, gave him 805 for his career to surpass Marist’s Drafton Davis, who had held the record since 1988.
Six players scored in double figures for the Blackbirds, including a team-high 22 points from freshman Iverson Fleming. Playing in his home state of New Jersey, Fleming nearly quadrupled his season total of points in one game with an 8-for-11 performance from the field.
In addition, junior Gilbert Parga scored 14 points, sophomore E.J. Reed chipped in with 12, while juniors Landon Atterberry and Gerrell Martin each had 10 for LIU, who shot 58.2 percent from the field.
With many of his passing lanes bottled up for much of the contest, Brickman went to work from long range and matched a career high with five three-pointers. Early in the second half, NJIT had cut its once-10 point deficit to seven when Brickman drained a three to re-up the cushion to double digits.
Right after his record-breaking assist, Brickman nailed another bomb to extend LIU’s lead to 16 with 13:16 remaining. The lead ballooned to 17 following a fast-break layup from Martin, fittingly off a pass from Brickman.
But the home team went on a 14-4 run over the next 4:28 to cut its deficit to seven at 69-62 with 4:23 on the clock. A Martin three-ball bumped the LIU lead back to 10, where it remained a minute later before a three-pointer from Damon Lynn and a layup from Winfield Willis brought the Highlanders to within five at 74-69.
After a missed dunk by Atterberry, Fleming found himself open in the right corner and knocked down a critical three-pointer to start a personal 7-2 run that bumped the advantage back to 81-71 with less than two minutes to go. A technical foul was issued to Atterberry following a Fleming layup. Willis hit both of the ensuing free throws, then hit a three-pointer to put the score at 81-76.
From there, both teams had numerous transition opportunities down the stretch in what was a wild finish. NJIT connected on two straight three-pointers to pull within three at 87-84 with 49 ticks on the clock, and used three free throws from Willis to get the score to 93-91 with 12 seconds left.
Reed stepped to the free-throw line and hit one of his two attempts, and a layup from Terrence Smith made the margin just one with five seconds remaining. But Fleming calmly stepped to the line with 1.7 left and hit both free throws, and a heave at the buzzer was no good as LIU held on for the three-point victory.
Willis finished with a game-high 30 points on 10-for-17 from the field, while NJIT’s leading scorer Damon Lynn, who entered the contest averaging nearly 19 points per game, was held to just nine.
LIU Brooklyn returned home to face Lamar at the Steinberg Wellness Center on Wednesday, Dec. 18.