BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Senior point guard Jason Brickman closed out his LIU Brooklyn career by becoming just the fourth player in NCAA history to record 1,000 assists in the Blackbirds’ 81-62 loss to Bryant on Saturday.
Brickman, who had 12 assists in the game, tied his own LIU and Northeast Conference single-season record with 290 assists in 2013-14. In the process, he also became just the second player in men’s college basketball history to average a double-double in points and assists in a year (Avery Johnson — Southern, 1987-88).
Needing only three assists to join an exclusive club that featured just three members, Brickman got things started with a backdoor feed to redshirt junior Troy Joseph at the 16:11 mark of the first half. Less than four minutes later, he found Joseph for a 3-pointer to give him 999 for his four-year career.
The 3-ball from Joseph and a free throw from sophomore E.J. Reed pulled the Blackbirds within four at 15-11 at the 11:51 mark. But a 9-2 spurt by Bryant that was capped by a layup from Alex Francis bumped the margin to double digits, 34-23, with 8:50 remaining in the opening half.
On the ensuing possession, the historic assist came to fruition as Brickman dished to junior Gerrell Martin for a 3-pointer to spark a 7-0 run that brought LIU within 24-20. He finished the half with six assists, and the Blackbirds went into the locker room with the same four-point deficit, 36-32.
The second half was one mired by offensive struggles for LIU Brooklyn, as the team missed its first nine shots and turned the ball over five times in the first 6:34. The Bulldogs built a 19-point lead over the stretch, with Corey Maynard leading the way with 11 points during the span to give his team control.
Brickman finally got the offense going with an assist on another 3-ball from Martin, then assisted on a layup by junior Gilbert Parga to pull LIU within 56-42 near the midway point of the period. That margin is as close as it would get, however, as Bryant built up a comfortable margin the rest of the way.
The only drama down the stretch was whether or not Brickman would secure a double-digit average for the season. Needing three more dimes with 2:40 to go, he threaded the needle with a pass to Reed for a difficult layup down low. On LIU’s next possession, Joseph cut through the middle of the lane for a contested hoop off a pass from Brickman to put him one away.
After a couple missed opportunities, Brickman finally got his 12th assist on a backdoor cut to Martin for a layup with 40 seconds remaining. Brickman, who finishes his career with 1,009 to rank fourth all-time, exited to a standing ovation for the final time in his LIU Brooklyn career.