City College’s Women’s Basketball Team was eliminated from the CUNY Athletic Conference in the quarterfinal round on Saturday afternoon, losing at Baruch, 104-61. The Baruch Bearcats advance to the semifinal round to play Hunter College on Tuesday at 6pm, February 24th, at City College’s Nat Holman Gymasium.
Though City held Baruch to within three points for the first several minutes of the game, Baruch capitalized on a common problematic theme for the Beavers that has haunted their play all season long: turnovers, turnovers, and more turnovers.
City committed 17 of them in the first half, eight of which were from senior Karissa Core alone. By comparison, Baruch’s entire team turned the ball over nine times total in the first half.
“That was the number one problem for us, it was turnovers and them [Baruch] capitalizing on turnovers. They had 35 points off of turnovers,” said head coach Jamie Angeli. The Beavers went on to commit 27 turnovers by game’s end.
Despite City’s charitable ball-handling, the game was close in the first six minutes, with Baruch only leading by three points, 12-9 with 12 minutes left to go in the opening period.
At this point, Baruch went on a 12-3 run in the next five minutes to raise their lead to 24-12 by the time there were 9 minutes left in the half. As the Lady Beavers continued throwing the ball away and dribbling off their own feet, the Bearcat lead ballooned to 20, ending the half with a 49-29 edge over City College.
Karissa Core noticeably limped through the last three minutes of the first half, yet coach Angeli did not substitute her out until there was 14:35 remaining in the second half. She eventually would come back out and play again in lieu of Carol Yu. Core finished with eight points, two rebounds, two assists, and 11 turnovers in her last game as a member of the Lady Beavers.
Tiara Brown also seemed slowed down, lacking her usual explosiveness in the paint and in transition defense. Regardless, she finished with 17 points on seven rebounds, an assist, and a steal.
“I’m happy, but me as a basketball player, I’m never satisfied if I keep losing,” said Brown.
Baruch proceeded to outscore City 55-32 in the second half, as the 20 point deficit ballooned to 31 at 10:17 left in the game, then 42 points with six minutes to go.
The Beavers never really stood a chance when faced with the shooting of Baruch’s Veronica Ganzi, who dropped 26 points and two rebounds on an impressive 9-for-18 shooting line. Lady Bearcats point guard Iyana Abrams added another 20 points along with eight assists, while Symone Green contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds.
City’s few bright spots included the free throw shooting of Brown (7-of-8), and the ever-improving shooting game from Robin Daley (15 points on 7-of-13 shooting), who has made considerable strides in her mid-range jumper. She also tacked on five rebounds and three steals. Despite that, Daley expressed frustration with the outcome of the game, “When we got here, everything that we tried, everything that we practiced, it just went out the window. Sometimes that happens when you’re nervous.”
Liz Durchhalter, who contributed eight points, four rebounds, and three assists, shared her thoughts on the difficulties of the season: “Some of the girls did have to play out of position. Obviously that did hurt us, but they tried their hardest and that’s really all you can ask for.”
Angeli intimated a similar sentiment:
“I’ve had coaches tell me all year long that at times, there were stretches of games where we competed as well as anybody in the league. We just can’t defend, and again it comes down to a short bench, [and a] lack of fundamentals. We just can’t compete for 40 minutes. I’m gonna really challenge them in the offseason to develop the skills, and hopefully with recruiting we can change that. I did like the mentality in the end of the year that even though things were bleak, they still came to practice with a desire to try to get another W.”
Looking ahead to next year, Daley stressed that she thinks the returning squad has a lot of work to do, “I hope that over the summer everybody works on their game. I know I have a lot of flaws in my game I have to fix.”
Angeli probably would be happy to hear that. In terms of what’s next for the Women’s Basketball Head Coach and his coaching staff, he’s got one more important idea on his mind: “Recruiting. We’re on some good players right now, but to me, it’s never enough. Especially when you’re at this level and you can’t offer scholarships, and they can change their mind in July and go somewhere else.”