After splitting games at the season opening Penn State Harrisburg tip-off tournament last weekend, the men’s basketball team find themselves in a situation they haven’t necessarily been in during the Tom Green era: an early must-win scenario.
With potentially winnable games against St. Joseph’s- Long Island and Yeshiva University this weekend, the Beavers need to find a way to win both games before Tuesday night’s CUNYAC opener at Brooklyn College.
CCNY is off to a solid 1-1 start with both Khalil Hamer and Anthony Lewis taking home All-Tournament honors at PSH, despite the Beavers losing to McDaniel College 82-60 in the championship game.
Hamer scored 21 points with five rebounds and four assists while Lewis finished with 12 points on just eight shots while grabbing five rebounds in the loss on Sunday.
If there’s anything that they can look forward to as the season progresses is their ability to start fast. Against McDaniel, the Beavers jumped to an early 5-1 lead in the early minutes of the game before McDaniel responded with an 11-2 run to take the commanding lead in the half. In the win against PSH, the Beavers took a 42-22 halftime lead, however also allowed the Lions to go on a big 14-4 run to pull within five points with just over five minutes to play.
That will be something that the Beavers will have to fix going into the weekend and, especially, at Brooklyn on Tuesday – while they can start hot out of the gate, the question is if they can lock up defensively and finish in the second half.
St. Joseph’s- Long Island enters Friday night losing two straight, both of which by just two points each while Yeshiva as started hot this season, winning their first two games of the season including a surprising 82-73 win at Hunter last Tuesday
If the Beavers are to prove that they are the real deal this year, then this early test is just what they need: games against a pair of solid, non-conference teams at home. In fact, the Beavers could also really set themselves up for a successful season if they can win early. Four of CCNY’s first five games are at home, with the lone road trip at Brooklyn. If they can win out this weekend against St. Joseph’s and Yeshiva, it’ll mark the first time since Feb. 6-7 of last year that the Beavers won back-to-back games. The wins against Yeshiva and Vaughn College on those dates were the only back-to-back wins they had all season.
The Beavers have a chance to make a lot of noise in the CUNYAC this year. The 1-1 start to the season isn’t bad, but a sweep would have a lot of people take notice and that notice is something that the program has not seen in a long time.