Baruch men’s basketball team falls in NCAA tournament’s first round

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Megan May | CNU Sports

Dani Heba, Copy Editor

The Baruch College Bearcats fell to the No. 4 ranked Christopher Newport University Captains 88-50 in the first round of the Division III NCAA men’s basketball championship on March 4 at the Freeman Center in Newport News, Virginia.

It was not close from the start. The Captains opened up the game with a 17-0 run in the first five minutes.

As the first half progressed, the Bearcats kept on fighting, cutting the Captains’ lead to 32-23 at one point. However, this wasn’t enough to stop the onslaught, and the first half ended with a 46- 23 Captains lead.

In the second half, the game was at a point of no return; the Captains’ lead never fell below 20 points.

The Bearcats shot 30% from the field, 31% from 3 and 70% from the free throw line.

Guard Jehmehl Fair led the Bearcats in scoring and rebounds with 14 points and eight rebounds. Michael Richards had 11 points, three rebounds and one steal in the effort while Adnan Bajrami logged 10 points and seven rebounds.

At season’s end, Bajrami was voted to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division III District IIII First-Team as well as the D3Hoops.com Men’s Region Four Second-Team.

Forward Trey Barber led the Captains in scoring, posting 17 points to go along with 10 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals.

The Captains shot 45% from the field, 28% from three on 39 attempts from beyond the arc and 83% from the free throw line.

Following their defeat, the Captains advanced to the quarterfinals, where the team lost in an 81- 79 thriller against Marietta College.

Despite the game’s outcome and the season’s end, the Bearcats have a lot to celebrate this season because it was the team’s first NCAA tournament game since 2019. The team was guaranteed a spot in the bracket after winning the CUNY Athletic Conference championship.

Winning the title marked another highlight as the team won a thriller against Lehman College to advance to the NCAA tournament.

Additionally, the Bearcats had three CUNYAC All-Star selections this season, tied for the most with York College, exemplifying excellent performances all season long.

The Bearcats end the 2021-22 season with a 20-8 record overall and a 11-3 record within the CUNY AC.