Photo by Curtis Ashley / Beaver Beat
By Curtis Ashley
It was the best ending to what has been their greatest season in years. After a dismal first half performance, the City College Women’s basketball team was able to rally in the second to defeat the Medgar Evers Cougars in Brooklyn, the final score 70-54.
The Lady Beavers finish their regular season with a 16-9 overall record. This is their first season avoiding a double-digit loss total since the ’94-’95 season when the team went 18-9. To put things in perspective, the ladies went on to win the championship that year. City also finish with an 11-5 conference record, their best since the ’03-’04 season, before the merger of the North and South divisions.
After all the commotion in the conference on Tuesday, the girls end up with the number four seed heading into the tournament. This means they get the first round bye, and will play the highest seed that comes out of the Baruch/York and Hunter/John Jay match-ups.
Scoring in the Medgar game came from the usual suspects. Tiara Brown led the team in that department with 20 points, along with eight rebounds, four assists, and five steals. Liz Durchhalter and Erika Richards each scored 13 points. In addition, Durchhalter had seven rebounds and three steals, while Richards recorded nine rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
The game started exactly how many assumed it would: CCNY jumping out to an early lead, nearly running away with the game in the opening quarter. The second quarter changed that perception, as Medgar Evers fought for the lead, and ended the half with a 30-26 advantage over the Lady Beavers.
“It was really disappointing, embarrassing. Our defense has really been frustrating me lately. I continue to harp on this laziness and the undisciplined stuff we do defensively,” Head Coach Jaime Angeli mentioned in a post-game interview. “If we come out against anyone else like that, we’ll be down by twenty easy.”
Fortunately for them, the girls were able to come out of the half as though they turned a new leaf. City opened the third period with a 15-0 that took seven minutes off the clock. They were able to hold the Cougars to just eight points in the third, which paved the way to the win. In the fourth, all City had to do was hold them off, which the girls were able to do with ease. In total, CCNY outscored Medgar 44-24 in the second half, a complete turnaround.
“I don’t really know why we were dead, but in the third half we picked it up,” Richards mentioned after the game. “Thank god we picked it up.”
“I just think they came up with this mindset that since they [Medgar] weren’t that high up in our conference that they just felt they could do anything defensively and they would hand up the ball, and it’s just not that way. They really exposed us for how weak we were in the beginning,” Jaime said. “I think that kinda settled them down and made them realize that it’s all about being solid defensively, especially against great teams trying to win a championship.”
With a first round bye, the girls will have enough time to work on their issues on defense. As they await the results of the first round games between the five, six, seven, and eight seed, the girls will most likely be running many defensive drills. The threat of facing Lehman again still looms. Brooklyn and CSI are also no walk in the park. We’ll know by Sunday, the day of quarterfinal match-ups, to see if there’s any improvement. The girls are scheduled to play around 3 in the afternoon, and will have the advantage of playing on their home court for the entirety of the tournament, since it’s hosted at City College. That gives the ladies to five days to get themselves primped and ready for a date with destiny.