Agony in the ARC: Bearcats entertain spectators, fail to win


Julian Tineo | The Ticker

Isaiah Hinton

Although Baruch was able to keep to their script, the Bearcats were victims of self-sabotage throughout the evening. 

Unforced errors, bad passes and ill-advised drives were constant thorns in the side of the team, and it allowed Hunter to build a lead headed into halftime.

Only down 11 at the half, Baruch came out and were blown out of the water in the second half. Under a constant barrage of three-pointers and high post play, the accuracy and size of Hunter was too much for Baruch to overcome, falling to their rivals 80-45. Sophomore guard Nia Dawson led the Bearcats with 18 points, while Milly Ye came off the bench for 11 points, including three shots from downtown. On the boards, Dawson and junior guard Melinda Spahiu each snatched nine rebounds in the losing effort.

After the game, Coach Kotrozos spoke about how the pomp and circumstance of the Battle of Lex might have influenced the ladies, stating how “maybe they put too much pressure on themselves, you know? Sometimes you got to relax and enjoy the moment.” 

He also commiserated on the effectiveness of Hunter’s shooters, commenting “sometimes when it starts, its hard to stop, and you could call timeout or whatever the case is, but they just went on a roll and we couldn’t stop them.”

However, he preached not only about the accountability he has taken in response to this loss, but how this game is an aberration and not representative of the good the ladies have achieved this season. 

“When you are building something, it takes steps. Last year we went 8-17, this year we are 13-7 right now. It is going to take a little time, but we’ll be alright,” said Coach Kotrozos. 

Despite the result against Hunter, the Bearcats still have a prime opportunity to host a playoff game, which is an improvement from last year.

Baruch plays York College on Monday, followed by a matchup against Brooklyn College, who are undefeated in conference play. 

After the women’s game, it was the men’s turn to take centerstage. Although the entertainment factor did not disappoint, as the fans of both sides were treated to the agony and ecstasy of watching a basketball game, it was Hunter who walked out of ARC Arena victorious. Baruch was aggressive throughout the evening, with junior guard Adnan Bajrami leading the charge with nine points in the first half. On the boards, it was freshman forward Emil Purisic who stole the show, recording 10 rebounds along with six points.

The Bearcats were efficient in the first half, shooting 44 percent from the floor on their way to a 30-26 halftime lead. Even though Bearcats kept their tenacity throughout the game, defensive lapses in certain moments, as well as questionable referee calls, angered the fans and Coach John Alesi. This game was an up-and-down affair where every point mattered, so of course it had to come down to the final possession. After Hunter took the lead with 12 seconds left, Baruch had the chance to tie and potentially win the game but missed the shot and fouled Hunter on the rebound. 

After the game, fans were stunned and angry about Baruch’s 59-57 loss. Although the Bearcats fought with an intensity to make their supporters proud, the amount of free points they left on the hardwood through missed free throws would have been enough to see Baruch to victory. Instead, many will feel that Baruch snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. The men will be back in action on Monday against York College, followed by a matchup against first-place Brooklyn College.