BY Curtis Ashley
After Tuesday’s upsetting loss against John Jay, a team that until then had not won a match all season, the City College Men’s basketball team was not ready to give up another game in the exact fashion. After a slow start, the Beavers were able to come out with the 72-66 win over Hunter College.
This win gives CCNY an overall record of 5-3, while being 2-2 in the conference, Hunter, on the other hand, will have to look elsewhere for their first win of the season. The team is currently 0-9 overall, having lost all three of their conference match-ups in that drought.
In the first half, it would almost appear that City was going to let lightning strike twice in the Nat Holman Gymnasium. For the most part, it was a back-and-forth match. Hunter got the scoring going first with a three-pointer only 15 seconds into the game. From that point until about the four-minute mark, City and Hunter would tie the game, and exchange the lead numerous times. But Hunter would begin to break away with the lead after a long series of missed shots, turnovers, and fouls by the Beavers. City would have a total of 10 turnovers in the first half alone, along with eight personal fouls. Fortunately for City, Hunter was unable to capitalize off some of those mistakes, shooting only 50 percent from the foul line in the first half.
The largest lead of the half was in favor of hunter, when they went up by nine points with just over a minute on the clock. They would retain the lead for the rest of the half, with a score of 38-32. City didn’t shoot the ball nearly as good as they would have liked. They only had a .371 shooting average, going 4-for-11 from downtown. David Solano led the team in scoring at the half with nine points. Darius Rhodes was not too far behind, with eight points.
After a slow start in the first, City looked to regain some momentum in order to put themselves back in the game. They quickly brought the six-point Hunter lead down to one, after some good offensive possessions, and aggressive plays on defense. Just over two minutes into the half, City tied the game at 39 after a shot by Mark Richards. Hunter would regain the lead, and hold on to it for a few more minutes. City had surges here and there, including when they tied the game again at 54 with a free throw. City would continue to trail until just under seven minutes remaining in the game, when they took the lead 55-54. It was City’s game to win from that point on, as they didn’t lose possession of the lead for the remainder of the game. Their highest lead in the second half was six points, the margin by which they won.
After the game, Richards spoke about what stirred the second half comeback which got them the win.
“What we really did was pick up on the defense on the defensive side, and we got a couple stops that we needed,” Richards mentioned. “We also made our offensive side better by scoring.”
Richards himself led the team in scoring at the end of the game with 17 points. The defense he spoke of was definite;y there, as well. City blocked six shots, and also had nine steals. Darius Rhodes finished the night strong with 14 points. Khalil Hamer also performed well offensively with 12 points.
The guys find themselves on a break for the next couple of weeks, their next game coming near the end of the month when they face St. Joseph’s College of Brooklyn. But the off time from basketball is only to make way for study time for final exams. Head Coach Tom Green understands the limitations final exams put on practice.
“I told them Sunday, be here two o’clock, be on time. We’ll stretch for 10-minutes and we’re gonna jump into practice right away,” Green had to say. “It’s a stressful time period for them to be student-athletes. Hopefully we get through it.”
The St. Joseph’s game will be on Tuesday, December 29th, followed by a game against Manhattanville College the next day. Both games will be at home, in the Nat Holman Gymnasium.