Photo by Demi Rodriguez / Beaver Beat
By Curtis Ashley
For the City College Women’s basketball team, it’s been win after win. After the mishap at Lehman College, the girls have put together two straight victories, the latest one being the Tuesday evening road victory over the Baruch College Bearcats. Unlike the first match-up between these two teams earlier in the season, CCNY did not give the Bearcats any chance of winning this one, the final score of 75-42 showing just that.
This has been City’s second largest win, defeating Baruch by a 33-point margin. The largest win of their season came just last month when the team defeated York by 44 points. City has won seven of their last eight games, and are currently on a two-game winning streak. They have swept Baruch this season, something the team has not done in over a decade. Their record improves to 14-8 overall, while being 9-4 in the conference. After a night of conference match-ups, the Lady Beavers find themselves fourth in the CUNYAC, below CSI and above Baruch. As the season has progressed the team has just been getting better, achieving another milestone with each game.
Tiara Brown led the game with 28 points, along with eight rebounds and four assists. Erika Richards had 13 points and seven rebounds. Natasha Almonacy came off the bench to score 12 points, including two from downtown.
“Last year when we played them here at this building, they smoked us by like 40 points, so it was all about just getting them back,” Brown said regarding the huge 33-point blowout.
“Basically our team runs really deep. We have people that can do multiple things, not just the starters,” Almonacy said about the team’s depth. “That’s a problem going forth for a lot of teams. A lot of other teams in this league don’t have a bench. That’s something they have to deal with.”
Working with only six active players, there was no way for Baruch’s short-staffed team to do anything. Once City got hot, which they did almost immediately, there was no way to cool them off. The only people who could do that was City themselves. The girls jumped out to a 16-8 lead by the end of the first period, but the second period is where they started to pull-away with the lead. Baruch’s Veronica Gonzi scored the opening bucket of the second period, but City would go on a 14-0 run before they scored again. By halftime, the score was 40-15, and it wasn’t hard to figure out where this game was headed.
The second half brought only more of the same. CCNY was able to bring out their reserves, including Shira Weinberg who hit a three-point shot. After a while, City seemed to be toying with, by this point at least, the defeated Bearcats. City held to Baruch to only .211 shooting in the game, while averaging .390 themselves. City’s defense was as apparent as can be, forcing 21 turnovers, eight of them off steals. They continued to exude the chemistry that has worked well for them this season, getting 24 assists.
“I’m excited that we’re playing well. Just to continually share the basketball when it was easy for some people to go for points or to go for statistics, they just kept moving the basketball and really got everyone involved,” Head Coach Jaime Angeli said after the game. “That was fun to see.”
Three games left in the season for the Lady Beavers. Two of them on the road, but all of them conference match-ups. The first is a trip to John Jay College on Friday, where they look to get another season sweep. John Jay is currently seventh in the conference, and ought to be an easy outing for the girls. The last time City played them, they defeated the Bloodhounds 52-49. But that was on City’s court. The last time City traveled to John Jay’s gym, they lost 65-70.
“Road wins are always important. We’re kinda playing for seating right now. It’s really gonna be a fun finish to see where everyone winds up,” Jaime said. “We’re just trying to take it one at a time. We’ll see where the seating is. We’re excited to have the opportunity to try to win a game to get to our own gym for the semi-finals, that would be huge. But our focus right now is John Jay.”
“We know that even know the championship is hosted at our gym, in order to be able to play in different schools, to play against different teams in a short time, that’s gonna show if we’re really ready or not,” Brown had to say.
Two days until the Friday showdown, and we’ll just have to wait and see if the girls can keep up their high level of play, to continue their best season in years.