CCNY’s Men’s Basketball team ended their five-game losing streak, defeating Shenandoah University (Va.) 81-76 at Nat Holman Gymnasium on Tuesday.
If there was any better way for the Beavers to end the calendar year on a solid note, it’s with a win over a non-conference opponent. CCNY (4-6, 0-4) earned a much-needed win, defeating Shenandoah University (Va.) 81-76 at home, ending their five-game losing streak at the perfect time. “We just needed to get a ‘W’,” CCNY head coach Tom Green said after the game. “After losing five in a row, we needed some symbol of success.” After struggling to a 77-64 loss at Hunter in their pre-Christmas break finale back on Dec.12, the Beavers came back strong at home, shooting 46.9 percent from the court, their best since their buzzer-beating loss at John Jay earlier in the month and a solid 30-for-38 from the free throw line, highlighted by David Solano’s 8-for-8 performance from the stripe and Salvatore Palazzolo’s 8-for-10 performance. “This is huge for us especially coming off of a five-game losing streak,” Beavers guard Khalil Hamer mentioned. Hamer finished with a game-high 24 points, followed by Palazzolo’s season-high 23 and Solano’s 15. “For Sal and Dave to step up for us like they did today I think that’s really good for us as a team.” “Coach always tells me to ‘take your time and let the game come to you,'”Palazzolo said about his career-high performance Tuesday night. City started out cold in the early minutes, but took the go-ahead 7-6 lead off of a three-pointer by Hamer with 14:07 left in the first half. From that point on, City went on a 12-4 run to go up 16-8 midway through the first. The Hornets rallied back to pull within one point, 27-26 with 5:35 left in the half, eventually taking the 36-35 lead with 1:23 left off Eli McEathron’s three-pointer. City rallied back again in the final minute of the first, taking a 37-36 lead off of a layup by Robert Dionisio and going up three, 39-36 at halftime off of a pair of Hamer free throws. “You’ve got to make free throws if you want to win close games,” Green added. The Beavers had one of their best nights from the stripe, making 16 of 19 free throws in the first and 14 of 19 in the second half. “I know coach is really happy with how we played,” Solano said. “The energy in the locker room is great, so in moving forward it’s going to help us out a lot.” City took a seven point lead in the second half with 8:58 remaining off of a Hamer layup, however the Hornets rallied back again, scoring seven straight points to tie the game at 62, then take a 65-64 lead off of a three by Antwan Pittman with six minutes left. City tied the game again at 65 then took the go-ahead lead off of David Solano’s layup following a miss by Shenandoah. The game saw one more tie at 69 with just under three minutes left before City retook the lead again and fought off several late comeback attempts by the Hornets. “We really needed to step it up,” Solano added. “Hopefully we can go out there and get the ‘W’ and let it be a real momentum pusher for us.” City rings in 2015 with a pair of big conference games, starting on Saturday at Lehman College and Tuesday night at home against the College of Staten Island. With the Beavers winless and struggling in CUNYAC play this season going into Saturday’s, Green mentioned that “[CCNY] has a long ways to go, but [they’re] just going to keep working.”