LIU 78, Quinnipiac 75

Julian Boyd scored 21 points and Long Island University-Brooklyn

sank just enough free throws down the stretch to beat Quinnipiac

78-75 Sunday night in the Northeast Conference tournament semifinal

round.

Boyd laid in the basket that put the top-seeded Blackbirds

(24-8) ahead for good, 71-69, with 3:38 to play, but they couldn’t

convert all their free throw chances in the final two minutes to

get comfortably ahead.

But while the Blackbirds went 1 of 2 from the line five

different times in the final 1:46, their defense also stepped up.

LIU forced five Bobcats misses from the floor during that span

until James Johnson, who finished with 17 for Quinnipiac (18-13),

hit a last-second 3-pointer for the final margin.

The Blackbirds advanced to the NEC tournament final Wednesday

night, in which they will play third-seeded Robert Morris. The

Colonials beat LIU in the only regular-season meeting between the

two teams.