By Jeff Weisinger
Senior Sports Editor
CCNY’s Men’s Basketball team entered 2016 on one of the hottest streaks they’ve been on in the Tom Green era – winners of four of their last six going into Sunday’s game against CUNYAC-leading Lehman, let alone a winning record to end a calendar year for the first time in years.
However, despite missing 44 shots and 12 free throws, the Beavers missed on another potential game-winning shot as Khalil Hamer’s last-second layup fell short in City’s 70-69 loss to the Lightning.
“I was just trying to get a good shot really,” Hamer said about the final play. “Coaches drew up a play trying to get to the left side of the court. I saw the double coming and I tried to split it and tried to go up, but it was just a little short.”
In the final 10 seconds, Lehman’s John Brens gave the Lightning a one-point lead after making one of this two free throws. Hamer took the ball on the final possession, and tried to draw a foul while going for a shot on the left side of the hoop, however the shot fell short and no foul was called.
Hamer finished the game with a team-high 16 points. Will Rhodes finished second in scoring on the day with 14 points, marking the fourth-straight game he scored in double digits.
Sunday marks the second time this season that CCNY had an opportunity to win a game on the final shot and missed. They had a chance to win against John Jay on the final shot back on December 8th, but David Solano missed the last-second three pointer.
The loss is much more disappointing considering that CCNY led by as much as 10 points late in the first half, taking a 31-28 halftime lead. The Lightning re-took a one-point lead after Chaun Miller’s jumper midway through the second half. City took the lead right back on Will Rhodes jumper, sparking a quick 5-0 run to put CCNY back up by four in the final nine minutes.
Miller tied the game again at 55-all with 7:32 left, only to have City retake the lead again, going up by as much as eight in the final five minutes. However missed shots and poor rebounding allowed Lehman to finish the game on a 15-5 run to clinch the win.
“It was just a heck of a game and it came down the stretch and who’s going to execute best the last couple of minutes is going to win the game,” Head Coach Tom Green said afterwards.
City shot just 35 percent from the court and just 55 percent from the free throw line with most of their misses coming in the second half.
“You can’t shoot 15-for-27 from the free throw line and expect to win many games,” Green added.
“Obviously it’s disappointing,” junior Ram Chadha said. “They’re the number one team in the conference and we were able to just lose by one.
“We didn’t do those little things and we just lost by one. We played terrible and we only lost by one. I think it gave us some confidence that if we can play like this against the number one team and change those little things, it’ll be good.”
CCNY falls to 6-5 overall, 2-3 in CUNYAC play, but still remains in fifth place in the conference going into another big matchup at the current third-place College of Staten Island Tuesday evening.