Despite rallying back in the second half down by 15, the Beavers furious, improbable rally falls short in the final seconds.
That’s all it took for John Jay to eliminate everything the Beavers did in the final nine minutes of Tuesday night’s big conference matchup between both teams.
After Anthony Lewis capped City’s 15-point rally with a layup in the paint with 3.9 seconds, the Bloodhounds’ Darell Robinson took a deep pass up the court and scored the game-winning three, taking the shot just shy of the arc at the buzzer to extend CCNY’s losing streak to four games.
“We just dug a hole early on that we couldn’t quite get out of,” head coach Tom Green said after the game. “We rallied, we fought back and battled and finally found, what I thought, was some light at the end of the tunnel with 3.9 seconds left and they go the length of the court and hit a shot.”
That game-winning shot, in John Jay’s homecoming game at that, earned the Hounds their first CUNYAC win of the season, along with their second overall win. On the other side, the Beavers fall to 0-3 in conference play and drop to 3-5, losing their fourth straight.
For the eighth straight game, both Khalil Hamer and Anthony Lewis led the Beavers in scoring, scoring in double digits once again. This time, however, Hamer led City scoring a game-high 27 with Lewis scoring 22. However this time around they weren’t the only ones in double digits.
David Solano came off the bench and went 4-for-4 from three point land, scoring 12 points on the night being the first player outside Hamer and Lewis to score in double digits since Nov. 23 against Yeshiva University.
“We wouldn’t have been close, if not right there at the end if it wasn’t for David,” Green added. “He just got a little distance between him and his defender and cranked some threes.”
While the Beavers were able to rally back from a 15-point deficit with nine minutes left, they still struggled offensively, shooting just 44 percent from the court for the game, going just 10-for-26 from beyond the arc and just 10-for-20 from the free throw line.
John Jay’s Korede Griffith proved to be a problem again for the Beavers, recording six steals on the night, along with scoring a team-high 24 points. However the Beavers biggest problem was 5’6” guard Jesse Higgins, who gave the Beavers guards fits defensively, recording three steals and also made an impact on the scoreboard, dropping 11 points against City including going 3-for-4 from three-point range.
“He’s a tough little kid who hit a couple of really big shots for them and came in and gave them a really big lift,” Green mentioned of Higgins.
The Beavers (3-5, 0-2 CUNYAC) will try to end their losing streak and go into the Christmas break with some kind of momentum when they travel to Hunter on Friday night. The Hawks are struggling as well as City, standing at 3-6 on the season and are also winless in the CUNYAC at 0-2.