The only thing that would’ve placed the cherry on the icing of the 1,000th career point cake is if CCNY’s Men’s Basketball team could’ve pulled off the upset against the Bearcats Tuesday night.
Instead the highlight of the Beavers eighth straight loss is Anthony Lewis becoming the newest member of the elite 1,000 point club after scoring on a jumper from the left side of the rim midway through the second half in CCNY’s 68-59 loss to Baruch at home.
Lewis finished the night with a team-high 14 points and added in 11 rebounds to complete the double-double.
“I knew it would come naturally,” Lewis said. “As a scorer, you’ve got to let the game come to you.
“I’m happy to have it with my team I grew with for about three years and play with the same coach for the last three years.
“Words can’t even explain how much I feel. It’s more than huge.”
While Tuesday night was Lewis’ night, the Beavers struggles to finish off halves and games were on display once again and with City a game behind Medgar Evers for the eighth and final playoff spot with two games to go, one against the Cougars in the regular season finale on Tuesday night, the Beavers need that show to end – quick.
“It just kind of got away,” head coach Tom Green said as he watched his team fall to 6-16 overall on the season and drop to just 1-13 in the CUNYAC. “The tempo early on was more to our liking and it just got a little bit too fast the last three or four minutes of the half.”
City sent out a new starting five Tuesday night, highlighted by sophomore Fran Kilinski making his first career-start with City. He started in place of City’s other leading scorer Khalil Hamer, who sat out of the first half after missing practice Monday.
“You’ve got to play the cards that you have. Just that simple,” Green said.
Kilinski opened the scoring for the Beavers, putting City up 3-0 on his three-pointer on the Beavers’ opening possession.
“He just plays hard and doesn’t know how to play soft,” Green said of Kilinski. “I didn’t think we’d lose anything intensity-wise with him. His first shot was a three and he performed well.”
The Beavers, as a whole performed well in the early goings, trading baskets back and forth with the Bearcats, even taking a 13-12 lead off of a three-pointer by Saleh Nasser with 8:26 left, again off of a three by Salman Hasan, 16-15 with 5:15 left and one more time off of a three by Nasser to go up 19-17 with 4:15 left.
With the game tied at 19, the Bearcats took off, ending the half on a 14-4 run in the final four minutes.
“Our defensive transition was not as good as it should’ve been,” Green mentioned.
Baruch never surrendered the lead from that point on, despite numerous attempts at a rally by the Beavers and barely outscored City 37-36 in the second half.
Once again, CCNY was manhandled in the paint as Baruch outscored them 36-20 in the game and 24-6 in the first half alone.
Lewis’ road to 1,000 points Tuesday night didn’t come easy. The Bearcats held Lewis to just four points on just 1-for-6 shooting in the first half.
“They were just playing me tough,” Lewis mentioned after the game. “Throughout the season, the second half has been my favorite half. I knew it was coming in the second half.”
Lewis is the first 1,000-point scorer since James Boddie reached the 1,000-point mark in 2007.
The Beavers longest losing streak of the season could come to an end soon as CCNY’s Men’s hoops team takes on John Jay and Medgar Evers in their final two regular season games, both teams of which have struggled all season, combining for just eight wins going into the weekend.
With City just a game behind MEC in the conference standings, both games coming up are must wins and Green knows it.
“We’re going to be totally prepared for these next two games for sure.”