Forty-seven combined games, 11 total wins, and 36 total losses. More disappointment, more frustration, less fans (or people in general) at games, less players on the teams compared to the beginning of the season due to either season-ending injuries, grades, or miscellaneous.
This is the 2014-15 season that CCNY basketball has endured. But here they are ready to make a playoff run.
Playoffs? Yes, we’re actually talking about playoffs. And, of course, as the saying goes, once a team gets in the playoffs, anything’s possible – believe it or not.
If both the women’s and men’s basketball teams hope to salvage anything of this season, that saying will have to be more than true for the Beavers, who can only be mentioned as the worse, if not second-to-worse teams in the CUNYAC this year. Only Medgar Evers, who both the men’s and women’s teams are ahead of in the CUNYAC standings are “worse.”
Tuesday night, City will look to lock its spot as the eighth and final playoff team against Medgar in a game that could either be one to remember, or one to forget.
Neither team is going into the regular season finale with any momentum. The women’s team enters Tuesday night’s matchup losing nine in a row, coming off of Saturday’s 48-47 loss to John Jay where CCNY nearly completed the second-half comeback, rallying from as much as 10 points in the second half.
The men’s side hasn’t been much different. They enter Tuesday night’s matchup losing eight of the last nine, with the lone win in the stretch coming in a surprisingly dominant fashion against the Bloodhounds Saturday. Whether or not that win was either a sign of a team finally trying to turn their season around or just a mirage of what we all wanted to see will be seen Tuesday night against Medgar.
Which leads us to Tuesday night itself.
The last time CCNY played at Medgar, both sides won in very opposite fashions.
The women’s team won their third game of the season at Medgar Evers in Brooklyn in a very, very dominant fashion, winning 90-37 on Jan. 9. Junior Tiara Brown recorded a double-double, scoring 14 points with a career-high 13 rebounds in the win while Marissa Olsen scoring 12, Robin Daley scoring 11 and Karissa Core scoring 10. It was the only time this season in any of the Lady Beavers wins that they had four players score in double digits and the 90-point total was the highest CCNY’s women’s basketball team has scored in a win since they dropped 83 points against Medgar back on Jan. 20, 2012.
Will we get an encore Tuesday night? Maybe and maybe not.
Despite the recent struggles, the Lady Beavers are sixth in field-goal percentage in the CUNYAC (35 percent) and are third in field-goal percentage against (36 percent). They are also first in defending the three-point shot (24 percent) and fifth in points per game allowed (64.8 ppg/allowed), third in defensive rebounds (29.4 reb/game).
The positives, stat-wise, stop there.
The women’s side of the court is seventh in scoring (54.7 ppg), seventh in three-point shooting (26 percent), eighth in three-pointers made (average 3.4 three-pointers made per game) and seventh in turnover margin (-5.21).
Then there’s the streak. The Lady Beavers current nine-game losing streak saw them lose six games by double digits, three by 20 points-or-more, and saw one of the more “embarrassing” efforts against a USMMA team last Thursday that entered with just four wins before defeating City.
The USMMA loss is the one to take note of here. City should’ve beaten the Lady Mariners last Thursday and the big fear with this team entering Tuesday night against Medgar is if CCNY will play to their opponent’s level, in this case, Medgar Evers who’s winless in conference. The Lady Beavers have already clinched the eighth and final playoff spot in the CUNYAC and while a loss won’t necessarily end their playoff hopes, a win would actually give head coach Jamie Angeli’s team some positive momentum going into their probable quarterfinal matchup against Baruch.
On the men’s side, the win against John Jay was huge on Saturday. For the first time all season, the Beavers played as a team and the results showed on the court. CCNY went up by as much as 17 against the Bloodhounds, and despite nearly blowing the lead, held on tight in the final seconds for the win.
As disappointing as the women’s side has been, the men’s side has been twice as disappointing throughout the season.
During the previous eight-game losing streak, the longest such streak under head coach Tom Green since the 2011-12 season, the Beavers lost six games by double digits with the smallest margin of defeat coming in a nine-point loss to Baruch, 68-59 last Tuesday.
The numerous losses by the Beavers are a bit surprising given the fact that CCNY’s men’s squad has the third and fourth top-scorers in the conference in Anthony Lewis (18.8 ppg) and Khalil Hamer (18.5 ppg). CCNY’s next “top” scorer of sort is David Solano, whose averaged 9.7 points per game, but is sixth in the CUNYAC in three-point percentage (30 percent).
CCNY is sixth in the CUNYAC in points per game (68.3), seventh in points allowed per game (75), seventh in field goal percentage (39 percent), last in field goal percentage against (47 percent) last in three-point percentage (29 percent), last in defensive rebounds (22.9 reb/game) and last in rebounding margin (-2.6).
If there’s anything that we’ve learned during the eight-game skid, it’s that City cannot just rely on Lewis and Hamer alone if they’re going to (miraculously) turn things around. Saturday’s win against John Jay proved that very statement. City shot a season-high 49.1 percent from the court, converting 6-of-15 from beyond the arc. They also outscored the Bloodhounds 36-24 in the paint, outscored them in second chance points 12-5, and out-rebounded them 37-32.
Although he was only the second-best scorer for the Beavers on the night, Saleh Nasser’s four three-pointers and season-high 17 points stole the spotlight from Hamer’s game-high 20 point night, as he is now looking to start a new double digit scoring streak.
These are two teams that have struggled and stumbled to this point, the final game of the regular season. The fact that the playoffs are even worth conversation for either of the two teams is pure luck that they play in a nine-team conference where the top eight make the playoffs. (Actually, given that fact, kind of makes you wonder how bad Medgar Evers really is.)
Neither team has won more than two games in a row on the season and both need to find a way to get it together and get hot at the right time – that time being Tuesday night, especially considering Tuesday night is senior night.
Can you imagine losing on senior night to a team that’s worse than you? If their games at Medgar say anything, City should be fine going into the CUNYAC tournament.
Key words are “if” and “should.”