Winter Recap: Women’s basketball excelling in conference play


Denis Gostev | Baruch Athletics

Edgar Llivisupa, Sports Editor

Finals. Holidays. Postponements. Cancellations. An inexperienced roster. Almost a month between games. Yet the women’s basketball team continues to rise to the occasion, standing at third in the conference with a record of 7-7, 5-2 CUNYAC.

Against John Jay, second in the CUNY Athletic Conference, the Bearcats managed to win 59-55 after Mia Castillo sealed the win by making two free throws. She was fouled following a steal on a John Jay inbound play with under 10 seconds. Her performance earned her a consecutive CUNYAC Rookie of the Week.

With only a few games remaining until the end of the season, the Bearcats are in position to host a playoff game, exceeding preseason expectations.

Their January schedule started against Brooklyn College on Jan.12, where they suffered one of their worst losses of the season, losing 46-94. Melinda Spahiu made her season debut, scoring 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The match occurred almost a month after their last game against St. Joseph’s College-Long Island on Dec. 11 due to several postponements and cancellations. This included a canceled game against New York University and three postponed matches, two against City College and one against York. A pair of matches against Medgars Evers College was cancelled shortly afterward.

A four-game winning streak against Pratt, Lehman and two games against City College followed. The team came back from a 13-point deficit against Pratt behind Spahiu’s 22 points and career high 11 steals.

All three games against CUNYAC opponents were among the team’s most lopsided victories of the season, beating Lehman 6138 at home, City College 79-33 at home and 8140 away. Spahiu scored her 1,000th career point during the second half of the City College away game, becoming the 15th woman to accomplish that feat.

During this stretch, Castillo earned Rookie of the Week after scoring 39 points, 16 rebounds and 12 assists in both games against City College. It was her fifth time earning the award this season. Milly Ye is the only other Bearcat to have received an award this season for Player of the Week in December.

Brooklyn would end its win streak with a 5277 defeat in a rematch.

With three games remaining on the schedule, including a rescheduled game against York and away at both Lehman and John Jay, the team can’t let up before the CUNYAC Tournament.

Although the Lehman Lightning isn’t performing to preseason expectations, they can spoil Baruch’s chances at a higher speed. Lehman played Baruch close up until the second half of their first encounter earlier in the semester and recently lost to John Jay only by seven points and to York by four.

However, if Baruch wishes to capture the conference tournament at the end of the season, they must improve their performances against Brooklyn. Although the margin of victory was lower in the rematch, they remain undefeated and title-favorites.