By Curtis Ashley
While the ladies were able to pull off the upset against Baruch in the game before, the City College Men’s basketball team was unable mirror that success. Instead, the Baruch Bearcats defeated the Beavers 88-79, handing CCNY their second straight loss. The loss brings City’s record to 9-6, 4-3 in the conference, as they remain fifth in the conference. A win over Baruch would have moved City into the number four spot, where Baruch currently rests.
Khalil Hamer led the team with 27 points. He also had eight assists, four rebounds, and a couple of steals.
“My teammates do a really good job of putting me in position to score. I consider myself one of the leaders of this team, so night in, night out, I gotta come and bring my A-game,” Hamer said in a post-game interview.
Mark Richards also put up big numbers in the Friday night loss. He had 18 points, with 5 rebounds and an assist.
“I think I played string throughout the game. Definitely could have played some better defense throughout the beginning. That kinda was where we lost it,” Richards had to say.
David Solano is an honorable mention as well. He scored 16 points, off of 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arch. He also had two assists, two rebounds, and a steal.
The game got away from City early on. Their only lead in the game came when they led 2-1 after a jumper by Solano. From then on, Baruch was the aggressor. They led by as much as 17 points, and finished the half with a 47-35 lead over the Beavers. The second half brought some hope for the Beavers. They went on a 12-2 run to bring the deficit down to just two points. Later on in the second half, City would actually tie the game at 64, off of a jumper by Hamer. But City could not regain the lead, as a 15-2 run by Baruch would ensue just after the tie. The Bearcats went on to win the game with a comfortable nine point cushion.
“Baruch’s got a very good team. Really good ball-handling team. They know how to play together. They set quality screens. They play off each other,” Head Coach Tom Green had to say in a post-game interview.
It’s been a recurring theme for the guys this season. Though, compared to previous seasons, this has been one of their best, there is still a lot for them to work on. When put in situations where they can potentially win the game, City has often blown it. In fact, the only time they have won a game that came down to the last straw, was when they headed to Jamaica, Queens to face York College. The game against Baruch didn’t come down to the final seconds, but City did put themselves in a position to win. So why can’t they take advantage?
“We just had a couple of pretty bad plays, we made some bad passes. We just didn’t play smart,” Green said. “At 64-all, we have got to dig-in and just play smart.”
“We just didn’t play smart as we should’ve at that point.”
The guys have a huge test ahead of them, facing off against Brooklyn College on Wednesday. Brooklyn is ranked 24th, among Division 3 schools, in the country, as well as second in the CUNYAC. For CCNY, the key to a win against them would be to get hot early, and find a way to stay hot. That means players like Hamer, Richards, and Solano will each have to bring their A-game. They lost to the Bulldogs earlier in the season, with a final score of 64-75, on their own court. Their last win against this team came in the 2013-2014 season, when they won 92-85 at home. Certainly, another win against Brooklyn would be huge, especially in a season filled with some impressive wins, and disappointing losses.