Baruch basketball teams dominate against Hunter in ‘Battle of Lex'
“Battle of Lex" is arguably the most popular day of the year for Baruch College athletes. It is the day the Bearcats take on their rivals, the Hunter College Hawks, in a double-header of basketball games.
This is a night not only for basketball games and rivalry, but also for fans attending the game. Outside of the ARC Arena, level B2, different tables were set up for the fans attending the game, some offered snacks, while others sold Baruch gear and merchandise. Members of the athletic department handed out free shirts bearing the design of a bearcat with a basketball, and a street sign that read “Battle of Lex.”
The night began with the women’s basketball game. The Hawks started out the game with a sizeable lead and held on to an 8-point lead into halftime.
In the third quarter, the Hawks’ lead increased to 12, yet the Bearcats refused to give up. With the help of the crowd, they clawed their way back, bringing the game within one point, with just over two minutes left. After a layup by Hunter, and a jumper made by Baruch’s Sameera Ahmed, the score was 71-70 Hunter.
This is when the senior star for Baruch, Shannon Barrett, would make sure that there was no way the Bearcats would lose this game.
A turnover by Hunter led to an “and-one” layup by Barrett, who would sink the free throw to put Baruch up by two. However, on the next Hunter possession and with only 14 seconds left, Hunter’s Theresa Leung would hit an and-one jumper and then make the free throw to go up 74-73.
With seven seconds left in the game, Barrett would be fouled and would have the task to make two pressure free throws to give Baruch the lead, and she did just that. Barrett made the free throws, and with the clock winding down Hunter was not able to get the shot off on time, giving Baruch the 75-74 win in the nail-biter.
Barrett finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds, while Melinda Spahiu finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds and Daniela Arias with 17 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds.
During the break between the games, two other sports teams were able to get involved in the festivities when three players from Baruch’s baseball and softball team competed in a relay race. Due to a controversial call, the softball team beat the baseball team.
In the men’s game, the Bearcats were hoping to complete the sweep of Hunter College. They were able to do just that in their dominating win.
The first half was competitive between the rival schools as the score went back and forth. The highlight of the first half was when Baruch guard Jack Sixsmith forced a turnover on Hunter’s Danny Fusco with only four seconds left.
Running up the court was fellow guard and brother of Jack, William “Billy” Sixsmith, who took the pass from Jack and, with two seconds left, heaved up a three-pointer from way behind the arc.
He made the shot and sent the crowd into a frenzy, giving all the momentum to Baruch for the second half. In the second half, Baruch increased its lead all the way up to 13 points and never looked back, sustaining the lead to a 61-50 win.
Star player Chimaechi Ekekeugbor finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while Bryler Paige and Billy finished with 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Both games were a hit as the Bearcats took home the wins.