Photo by Curtis Ashley / Beaver Beat
By Curtis Ashley
Another game that was too close for comfort, but this time the City College Men’s basketball team was able to emerge the victors, in what was a hard-fought 76-71 win over the York College Cardinals. They snap a three-game losing streak, and the win couldn’t have come at a more pivotal point in the season for the Beavers.
The guys continue to hold down the number five spot in the CUNYAC. They now sport a 10-8 overall record, and a 5-5 conference record. They’ve tied their largest win total in the last seven seasons, which they achieved in the ’12-’13 season, when the team finished 10-16. The win over York also gives them the season sweep. In their first match-up with the Cardinals, they narrowly defeated them on the road, with a final score of 67-65.
In the latest edition of the City-York saga (and there have been some interesting ones), it was Mark Richards who stood out the most. He had a huge presence on the inside, and it got him the game-high 22 points, along with eight rebounds and two assists.
“I just gotta keep attacking, that’s my mentality. Attacking the big man or whoever’s on me. I just gotta know i got the green-light, I gotta be confident,” Richards said after the game.
Robert Dionisio and Khalil Hamer also performed well in the game. Dionisio had 15 points with nine rebounds and two assists, while Hamer had 11 points, six boards, and six assists. The team as a whole shot .491 from the field, and they were on-point from the foul line, making 18-of-22.
Stats aside, this win proves that the team can have a narrow, late-game lead, and hold on for the win, rather than blow it in the final seconds. City led for a majority of the game. They went up by as much as 15 in the second half, off a three by David Solano. But York never counted themselves out of it, and with less than a minute in the game, City found themselves leading by only three points. Richards would get to the line to shoot two foul shots, knocking down both of them. Ryan St. John kept York in the game still, when he hit a three with only thirteen seconds left in the game. Salvatore Palazzolo made a layup to put City up by four, followed by an extra foul shot, to put York away, and get City the win.
“After we got going a little while, and we had a little bit of a lead in the first half, we just started playing good basketball,” Head Coach Tom Green said. “Just kind of a helter skelter game down in the last two-three minutes of the game. Fortunately we got a couple of good stops, a couple of good rebounds.”
A good win because it ends a losing streak, but it also gives the team some momentum heading into a week with a couple of conference opponents, The guys face Hunter College on Wednesday, and Lehman College on Saturday. Both games will be on the road, and both are a rematch. In the team’s first meeting with Hunter, they beat them 72-66, but in the first meeting with Lehman, they fell 69-70, one of the earliest in what became a string of disappointing losses. City has shown they can play tough, and get leads over these teams, but in order to snag these to crucial road wins, they will need to emulate what they did on Friday night against the Cardinals. Of course Hunter ought to be an easy game, Hunter being last in the conference with an overall record of 2-17. But the Lehman game will be somewhat of a testament to the team, proving whether or not they can run with the top teams.
The guys will take it one game at a time, hopefully, and not put too much on their plate. The game against Hunter is the last before the spring semester starts, so there should be no reason they let Hunter pull off an upset.