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‘Battle of Lex’ rocks Baruch as men’s basketball secures win

Julian Tineo | The Ticker

Another “Battle of Lexington” is in the books for the Baruch Bearcats, with men’s basketball securing a big win. For those who do not know, “Battle of Lex” is one night out of each year, where Baruch and Hunter College face off in a doubleheader of basketball games, one by each of the women’s and men’s teams.

It is called “Battle of Lex” due to the fact that the two CUNYAC rivals are both located on different streets of Lexington Avenue. The night allows students from both schools to rally behind their teams with school spirit and is always the loudest and most packed night of the year in the Athletic Recreation Center.

The night started off with the Baruch and Hunter women’s basketball teams facing off. This was not a good night for the struggling Lady Bearcats, as Hunter dominated from the start. The Hawks got an early lead and later broke the game open in the second quarter, outscoring the Bearcats 20-9 and finishing with a 74-43 victory.

Hunter, the No. 1 seed in CUNYAC, was led by Jade Aponte and Christine Patterson, along with very strong bench play by Marlena Budna, who finished the game shooting a perfect 6/6 from the field. Aponte finished with a game high of 28 points and added a spectacular seven steals on the defensive side of
the ball.

Baruch was led by Melinda Spahiu, who finished with 16 points. Spahiu is averaging 15.6 points on the season and is nearly averaging a double-double with 9.1 rebounds per game. The team currently sits in sixth place in the CUNYAC standings — and with just two games remaining in its season, it has to make a strong push into the playoffs.

The men’s game capped off the night, and after a crushing overtime loss on Feb. 5 to Brooklyn College, Baruch was looking to rebound and rebound big on such an important night. Halfway through the first half, the Bearcats led 24-16, after Jack Sixsmith scored his second consecutive bucket, which is what was needed to propel them to a 71-50 win.

By just looking at their shooting statistics, one would think that the Bearcats did not have a successful day, however, their toughness and grit helped them outlast Hunter.

The energy from the crowd led the way. Senior Andre Harris got off to a hot start, as he was everywhere in the first half. He finished with a game-high 12 rebounds, with seven of those being on the offensive side. He cleaned up the offensive boards and was outstanding scoring the ball, finishing with 24 points.

With this win, the men have solidified a top-seed in the upcoming CUNYAC Tournament, as they cannot fall below the No. 2 seed.

Currently, they sit in the No. 1 spot, and with two games also remaining, they control their own

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