Baruch Who? The Brooklyn College Bulldogs are the best in CUNY and they have the Dutch Shoe trophy to prove it. The Men’s Basketball team achieved their revenge for last year’s loss to the Baruch Bearcats with a 7667 victory Friday night in the 2016 City University of New York Athletic Conference Championship.
The Bearcats defeated the Bulldogs in double overtime last year and with a 234 run with just over five minutes to go in the game ensured they wouldn’t suffer a similar upset. To win the championship on a night where the 1982 Brooklyn Bulldogs were honored for going to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament, Coach Ric Micallef, who played guard for the 82’ champs exclaimed, “I couldn’t dream this any better.”
The Bulldogs were behind for a majority of the first period. They took their first lead of the game at 2524 with a minute remaining in the half. The Bulldogs shot just over 33% from the free throw line, shot just under 38% from threepoint land and made almost 35% from the field.
A Bearcat free throw tied the game, 2727 at halftime.
The Bulldogs ran the pick and roll effortlessly in the second period, and played stingy defense. All eyes were on Lorenzo Williams, number 12, as he outhustled competitors and seamlessly beat his defender off the dribble for a number of baskets, including a threepoint play that sparked a key run for the Bulldogs in the opening minutes of the second period.
Three consecutive threepointers, one by Chris McIllhatton and two by Lorenzo Williams, gave the Bulldogs their first doubledigit lead of the game. Senior role player Dennis Balsam then added another three pointer which gave the Bulldogs a 12point lead. Lorenzo Williams then hit his fourth three pointer at the 6:54 mark which gave the Bulldogs their largest lead of the game. From there, the game seemed to be won. Baruch started fouling with two minutes left to prolong the game, but the Bulldogs made most of their free throws sealing the lid on the victory.
“It was their tempo early on,” Coach Micallef said. “In the second half we stayed out of foul trouble and were able to come out with a win.”
“We were pretty stout defensively. We wanted it,” remarked Assistant Coach Jason Bavolar.
Brooklyn native and Brooklyn College senior Lorenzo Williams scored 25 points, dished out three assists and played all 40 minutes in the Bulldogs triumph over the Bearcats. “I was feeling it tonight so I just let it fly.” Williams said. “I love my guys. This is my brotherhood.”
Lorenzo Williams also recorded his 1,000th Brooklyn College career point and said he wants to pursue a professional basketball career overseas.
Threeyear captain Jamel Gist, the club’s starting point guard, protected the basketball relentlessly for the Bulldogs throughout the night and finished with 17 points on 50% shooting, and recorded six assists, four steals and committed zero turnovers. “My team looks at me when it’s crunch time.” Gist said. “It’s all or nothing.”
Before the final seconds slowly ran off the clock, Coach Micallef took out his
starting five for a well-deserved standing ovation from the fans and hugs from their teammates. When the game clock hit zero, the Brooklyn players and fans stormed onto the court.
Players embracing, coaches breathless, fans rejoicing with the cheerleaders leading the charge; put all three of them together and you have the Brooklyn Bulldogs familychampions.