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Students win second annual Students vs Faculty basketball game

The undergraduate Student Government and Student Athlete Advisory Committee held their second annual Students versus Faculty basketball game on April 4. Students defeated faculty by six points 89-83.

The tradition continued after the success of the SvF basketball game in 2023. The planning process for this year’s event started in early Fall 2023 with involvement from the Students vs Faculty Committee. 

The heavy preparation and long wait paid off on the day of the event. The main gym was packed with eager students, faculty, friends and family. Many held up posters in support of their favorite players, took selfies with Bernie the Bearcat and received merchandise.

16 students and 17 faculty members played in the game, with the students wearing blue and the faculty wearing white. Like last year, Angie Bacarella and Joe Fitzgerald served as student coaches again while Tim Shanahan became the faculty coach for this year. 

Precious Mitchell and Mohamed Gueye were referees. Caroline Sánchez and Justin Calzado from WBMB provided announcements and narration for the entire game. To start the event, Rosalia Flores and Fabiola Flores sang the national anthem together. 

Baruch College President S. David Wu threw the first ball, which was quickly swiped mid-air by philosophy student Aboubacar Fofana and tossed to marketing student Megan Bell. 

The students missed their first and second attempts to score, leading the faculty to gain control. After the ball went off-court several times and multiple misses from both sides, the first three points were scored by professor Holden Taylor three minutes into the game. The students scored their first three points moments afterwards.

Halfway into the first quarter, both teams were tied 7-7. The remainder of the first quarter was an intense back-and-forth between the teams. By the end, the students were leading 21-20.

In the second quarter, the faculty stepped up and scored seven more points in two minutes. Halfway into the quarter, the students surpassed faculty, but only for the teams to tie at 33-33. With three minutes left, the faculty team was leading 40-33.

“It really seems the faculty are giving the students a run for their money. I’m always for the students but the faculty are really killing it out here,” operations management student and audience member Abdullah Mahdi said.  

By the end of quarter two, the students made a comeback and were leading by a narrow two points at 43-41. 

The halftime show featured a performance by Baruch’s conFUSION dance team. Their fast-paced synchronized dance captivated and entertained the audience and players for several minutes.

The third quarter consisted of another round of neck-and-neck scores with more trips and slips. The crowd watched in anticipation as students and faculty would fall to the ground, clutching the basketball. The sound of collective groans echoed in the gym as the basketball would circle the rim of the net but fall out, or even lodge itself between the rim and the backboard.

With five minutes left in quarter three, the faculty team was leading 51-47. Their lead was short-lived, as the students surpassed with successful free throws and impressive scores from behind the three-point line. In the last fifteen seconds, a faculty player tossed the ball, which was then intercepted by the students, who made it to the other side of the court and scored moments before the buzzer went off.

Starting the fourth quarter with the students at 71 points and faculty at 64, things were looking bright for the students. Yet, the uncertainty persisted as the faculty caught up to the students at 75-76 halfway through the quarter. 

As the clock ticked, an impressive toss by finance student Hannah Pompa intensified the crowd’s uproars. 

“I played basketball when I was in high school, but I started playing when I was six. I have to keep playing as a hobby because in college I don’t have time to play professionally,” Pompa told The Ticker in an interview. 

In the last 30 seconds of the game, students were leading 88-83. One last point was scored by computer information systems major Ruslan Zinnatullin during a free throw. Both teams chased and got ahold of the ball before the 30 seconds were up, but missed. 

The crowd of students cheered for their first victory of 89-83 and both teams shook hands.

“I’m glad I got to come out and do this a second year in a row… Great to see the campus come together,” professor Debanjan Roychoudhury said.

Overall, the event was a huge success and good team bonding activity for the school. It gave many students and faculty the opportunity to play a sport they have not had a chance to play in a long time. This year’s game was an unforgettable experience for attendees. 

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