Photo by Curtis Ashley / Beaver Beat
By Curtis Ashley
One word to describe the City College Women’s basketball team in their recent stretch of wins: sensational. The team has been on a conference tear in their last few games, the latest victory being the absolute blowout of the York College Cardinals, a game that ended with a final score of 82-38.
The Lady Beavers find themselves in a spot they have not been for a long time. Their record improves to 11-7 overall, 6-3 in the conference. This is their best overall record since the ’08-’09 season, when the team went 13-13. The girls have not won six or more conference games in over seven seasons. Following the win, the girls are now on a three-game winning streak in conference play, a four-game winning streak overall, and have won five of the last six games.
Erika Richards led the team in scoring with 15 points, along with three rebounds. Tiara Brown got her first triple-double of the season with 12 points, 14 boards, and 10 assists. She was also active on defense, stealing the ball four times, as well as blocking a shot. The bench was active as well, Natasha Almonacy being most productive. She had 14 points, three rebounds, and a couple of steals.
“I think I shot the ball well. In the beginning, I kinda shot a crazy shot, but after that I got in a groove. I was feeling it, so I just kept shooting,” Richards mentioned after the game.
“It’s all about the team and my coaches believing in me,” Brown said, regarding her triple-double. “From the beginning, we all set goals.”
“Coming off the bench and being able to do that is something that I’ve been trying to do,” Almonacy had to say about her performance off the bench. “It’s good, but I still have more that I need to accomplish. I have more that I want to show.”
The team has come a long way from the start of the season, and the win over York really shows it. The team had 21 assists, compared to only two by the Cardinals. City had 37 points off the bench, while York had, try and guess, two. City led the entire game after scoring the first points off a three-point shot by Liz Durchhalter. The team went into the locker room with a 15-point lead, and a bunch of momentum after Robin Daley made a buzzer-beater from near half-court. The second half is where the girls were able to put York away, and send them packing early. They outscored the Cardinals 45-16, having scored enough points in the second half alone, to defeat York.
“On and off the bench we have so many talents. For them to come in and continue to keep playing hard, it’s a great feeling,” Richards had to say about the bench.
Not that City, in this season, has ever played nearly as bad as York did, but it was like looking in the past for them. The meltdown York was having could be seen in the players faces, the shots they were taking, and their presence on the court. This is something the girls have experienced this year. In the losses against Hunter in December, and Misericordia earlier this month, the team looked down and out, just like York looked on Friday night. But what’s changed, is that the team has grown. Grown individually, and as a single unit.
“We go back to the same old thing, the chemistry of this team, the way they share the basketball,” Head Coach Jaime Angeli said.
That chemistry will be needed next week, with two big conference games coming up. The first against Hunter College on Wednesday, and then Lehman College on Saturday. Both games present a big challenge for the team. Hunter defeated City in the match-up earlier this season. Lehman is currently second in the conference, and on a three-game winning streak as of now. Both games are also going to be on the road. But if the win against Brooklyn on Wednesday proved anything, it was that CCNY can defeat a top team in the conference, that they can even the score, and do it on the road. The girls hope to continue their dominating play next week.