No Buzzer Beater Needed This Time: Beavers Fight Off TCNJ 77-72

This time, we didn’t have to wait for the buzzer.

In their second part of  back-to-back games in New Jersey, the CCNY Men’s Basketball team didn’t need to wait to the last second this time around to earn a season sweep of the Lions of The College of New Jersey in their 77-72 win Monday night at TCNJ.

“We knew it was going to be between two evenly matched teams and, just on paper we knew it was going to be a dogfight,” head coach Tom Green said after the game.

“The dog with the sharpest teeth is going to come out. Fortunately we got the ‘W’ tonight.”

The Beavers won the first matchup against the Lions (7-9) in mid-November in Harlem as Che McCoy nailed the game-winning three at the buzzer in the Beavers season opener.

CCNY (5-9, 3-4) comes back to split their Jersey trip after completely flopping at Mitchell College in their 71-59 loss on Sunday.  The Beavers have traded wins and losses in their last five games, going 3-2 in the stretch.

Once again, the Beavers found themselves in early foul trouble,racking five fouls in the game’s first eight minutes, 12 in the first half, 23 total for the game.

“We’re trying to play aggressive defense,” Green said.

However despite the fouls, the Beavers found a solid spark off the bench, as Damian Okon’s four first-half three-pointers kept the Beavers ahead 42-37 at halftime, despite both teams trading baskets back and forth.

Okon finished with a team-high, and personal season high 17 points as CCNY received 31 points from the bench.

Manfred Cadet scored 16 points along with five assists on the night while Anthony Lewis had just 10 points and six rebounds.

Lewis’ night ended early after a small scuffle with the Lions’ Jayson Johnson nidway through the second half where both players received technical fouls.

Lewis, who’s third in the conference in points per game (20.5 ppg) along with being ranked 33rd in the country in the Division III level, was held to under 15 points in both games in New Jersey.

The Lions’ Bobby Brackett had another solid game against the Beavers, scoring a game-high 25 points on 50 percent shooting from the court.  Teammate Skyelar Ettin scored 11 on the night as he was the only other Lion to finish in double digits.

CCNY opened the game on a 5-0 run before TCNJ took a 9-7 lead on a three-pointer by Eric Klacik as he was also fouled by Cadet and capitalized on the free throw to complete the four-point play.  Cadet answered back with a three of his own on the following possession and the shootout was on as the game saw six lead changes with CCNY taking as much as an eight-point lead late in the first half.

The Lions rallied back to open the second half on a 15-4 run that took 6:15 off of the clock until Lareik Taylor’s three-pointer ended the TCNJ run with 13:22 left in the half.

Guilherme Brodt’s layup inside tied the game at 56 for CCNY with 10:22 left on the clock while Jordan Ortega’s layup on their following possession  gave them the 58-56 lead a minute later.

Both teams traded the lead back and forth towards the end of the game as both teams found themselves tied at 61, 63, 65 and 67 until the Beavers ended the game on a 10-5 run in the final 2:30.

The Beavers will return home to Harlem on Wednesday afternoon for a big conference rematch against John Jay (6-10, 4-4) at 5 p.m.

The Beavers lost their conference opener 100-95 in overtime at John Jay on Nov. 26.  CCNY can go a game ahead of John Jay in the standings with a win on Wednesday as the Beavers are 4-4 at home while the Bloodhounds are 2-5 on the road and are coming off a three-game losing skid.