The men’s Bulldogs of Brooklyn College basketball team won the Battle of Lexington 73-58 on Tuesday night 8 pm in the Baruch Bearcats ARC Arena. BC gets a third seed in the playoffs start Saturday at 1 pm at the West Quad Center at BC. BC’s record is 19-6, 11-5 CUNYAC and Baruch ends up 13-12, 9-7 CUNYAC. It was estimated 1200 saw the men’s and woman’s doubleheader.
BC had balanced scoring with 4 players from 15 to 20 points. Nicholas Grasso is playing coming off an injury. BC led at the low scoring half 23-19. BC has one of the top offenses in the conference due to their smart and patient passing but only shot 29% field goals and 1-12 for threes and Baruch shot 1-13 on threes. BC did not get a comfortable lead till later and was not able to rest some of their key payers for the playoffs. There were many turnovers and lay ups, a few shot clock violations and some close to it.
Baruch had a very lively fan base rooting all game and with a group contest at half time with odd costumes the fans were wearing. The Bulldogs scored the first 12 points of the second half to go from 23-19 to 35-19 lead with 16:30 left. The Bearcats got to 46-40 with 8:28 remaining, BC answered with back-to-back threes and layup for a 54-40 score.
In the second half BC outscored Baruch 50-39. The keys to the second half were Egzon Gjonbala (not to be confused with his brother Pajtim in the top photo) shooting 5 for 5 and a spark from Dillon Williams who scored a few times as BC broke the press as he got open. Egzon scored under the basket on 3 out of bounds plays.
Baruch made a comeback as they created a few turnovers and scored on fast breaks. They have trouble making a comeback as they were missing on threes and got few fast break points. Egzon blocked a shot that rocked the backboard he hit.
The biggest lead was 18 with a minute to go and ended 73-58. A BC and Baruch fan had a big argument that security had to sit near by for awhile. BC coach Micallef said it was there best defensive effort. Dillon Williams’ father Roger Williams told me he had mixed feelings rooting as he is a Baruch alumni. Dillon had played at Dowling College as had his cousin and prior had won the Elmont High School Championship.
Team Stats: BC: field goal 48%, 3 pointers 33%, +6 rebounds, +6 turnover points. Baruch: field goal 34%, 3 pointers 27%.
Player Stats: Egzon Gjonbala 20 points, 0-3 threes, 14 rebounds and offensive rebounds, 5 blocks, 3 steals, 6 turnovers.
Jamel Gist went 10 for 10 in free throws and ended with 16 points, Lorenzo Williams had 17 points, Dillon Williams has 15 points.
Baruch’s Chimaechi Ekekeugbor had 12 points, 17 rebounds, 8 offensive. Edward Roscigno, 17 points, 9 rebounds.
In the opener the BC woman’s team won 67-45 with a fast paced offense and depth of bench. This was a growing year as they replaced many leaving seniors but did well with a 18-7, 13-3 CUNYAC record. They will get a first round bye and play Wednesday.