Men’s Bulldogs Basketball team wins first playoff round in bid for CUNY top dog

The Brooklyn College Men’s Bulldogs #3 seed won 72-62 verse York Cardinals #7 seed in CUNYAC in the quarterfinals playoff game on Saturday, February 10th at 1 pm at the BC West Quad Center. York is better than their 11-16 record. Against CCNY they came from behind by 13 to win. In their first game against BC, York had 18 more rebounds and won on January 5th.  Since then they have won 9 of their last 13 games. They beat the top seed in Lehman.  BC with a 20-6 record started this season 9-0 in games.

The BC Bulldogs Egzon Gjonbala did not have his season average game of 23 points and 11 points as he is the leader in at least 6 stat groups. Fortunately Jamel Gist had 36 points which was half of the team’s total. He had 27 at the half and 6-7 three pointers and 8-13 field goals.  The keys to the game were the BC shooting three’s, free throws and creating turnovers. The taller York team predictably controlled the boards as is their reputation.  York’s point guard Chad Couchman got in foul trouble and had to sit and only played 26 minutes.

BC’s Dillon Williams started this game, last time they played he had 18 points off the bench.  Nicholas Grasso usually starts but played and reinjured his leg and only played 17 minutes. The Cardinals held an early leads of 16-10 and 22-15 with 10 minutes to go. BC tied it at 22 in part of an 11-1 run and part of a 19-2 run to go up 34-24 with 3:44 remaining. Gist had a nice jump drive shot. Couch Micallef had Ryan Smart doubled, who was limited to 2 rebounds.  Only 3 BC players scored which shows how good their role players were.  The half ended at 42-30.

The second half opened with Gist dishing a back door pass in the lane to Egzon for a dunk. BC lost some of the lead as they forced too many fast breaks with one on twos or threes which should have been pulled back. It is harder to score and dribble through a half-court defense but Gist, Egzon and Lorenzo Williams each had an impressive dribble weaving drive through defenders to score. York dominated the boards and one sequence got 3 offensive rebounds.  A lot of fouls were called.

York got to within 3 at 46-43 with 13:48 to go. BC when they get a rebound have a quick outlet when they were being pressed. 8:14 was their biggest lead at 61-46. York was very aggressive going for steals and got burned several times. It was 63-52 at 5:04. Yorks’ offensive was predictable and no motion as BC was able to steal the ball. At 65-52 Egzon shot a finger roll with his left hand. The game ended at 70-57.

A trend I have noticed in past games are that players have to play with their head. Some players of other teams have argued with their coach. It could be a ball stolen and giving up on playing defense on that break. Another one argues too much with the ref and other players. If getting in foul trouble early then at the end of the game they have to play light defense to not foul out. The great Wilt Chamberlin never fouled out of a game as he was too valuable to lose verse stopping a single basket.  Several players go for the ball when rebounding and not getting it. The other team is slipping through because everyone does not have to go for it but just need to box out.

Player Stats: Gist 36 points, 11-20, 7-10, Egzon Gjonbala 14 points, Lorenzo Williams had 8 rebounds.  York: Anthony Mason 15 rebounds, 7 offensive.

Team Stats: BC: 38% threes, +5 steals, 12 less turnovers, 15 less rebounds, 6 less offensive. 32 points off turnovers, -11 second chance points.



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