Bearcat Recap: Men’s basketball remains undefeated in conference play


John Neves | Baruch Athletics

Edgar Llivisupa, Sports Editor

Following winter break, the men’s basketball team can be considered the cream of the crop in the CUNY Athletic Conference.

Unlike other teams, the men didn’t face a long layoff with only three weeks between matches after a pair of games against St. Joseph’s College New York and The College at Old Westbury postponed.

Their rescheduled home match against St. Joseph’s College seemed like a win for the visiting team that had as high of a 63-47 lead in the second half. The Bearcats rallied and tied the game with two minutes and 20 seconds remaining.

However, the comeback fell short after the visitors scored four of the last five points in the last minute and 17 seconds in the game, beating the Bearcats 6663.

A pair of games that followed against City College and York were postponed. The team has been undefeated since.

At home versus Brooklyn, the lead at the half for Baruch was only 35-28. After Brooklyn took a two-point lead, the Bearcats exploded in the second half, going on a 25-10 run and winning the match 7859.

The team headed to Medgars Evers College, winning 9380 after leading the entire game.

In perhaps the biggest test for Baruch all season against Lehman, undefeated at the time, the Bearcats managed to win late in the second half. The game was a nail-biter and close throughout, with the biggest lead at six points for Lehman.

However, both teams were tied at 63 with a minute and 28 seconds left in the second half. Both teams committed intentional fouls in the closing seconds, with Adnan Bajrami making his two free throws to seal the game with two-tenths of a second left to win 7167.

Like other games throughout the season, John Jay played Baruch close at the Arc Arena in the first half, but after a 15-4 run, the lead was insurmountable as the home team won 8269.

A back-to-back game against City College followed. Baruch led the majority of the game, though City kept the game close 78-73 with .20 left. A free throw by Bajrami and a pair by Sean Donnellan closed the game out for Baruch 8173.

The following night in Harlem wasn’t as close, as they beat the home team 8163, scoring 30 points on 25 turnovers by City College.

In a rematch at Brooklyn, the teams were tied at halftime 47-47, but Baruch scored 52 points in the second half while limiting Brooklyn to 27 points and winning 9164.

The final three games of the season are rematches at Medgar Evers, Lehman and John Jay. Following a close encounter between the teams, Lehman will be an important rematch that could cement Baruch’s standing atop the conference.

Michael Richards was also named the CUNYAC/Hospital for Special Surgery ScholarAthlete of the Month for December 2021, his second time being honored.