Esonwune and Hamilton-Lopez Lead York to Quarterfinal Win
York (20-6) will now take on Hunter College on Tuesday in the CUNYAC semi-finals held on the campus of CCNY at 5:30 pm. Hunter College defeated Medgar Evers College 93-81. Should the Cardinals win, they will take on the winner of Brooklyn College and Baruch College, who each won their quarterfinal match-up. Tickets are free and are available for pick-up at the York College Athletics office.
The game started off with a couple big runs. York jumped out to an 11-0 lead thanks to a trio of three-pointers by Hamilton-Lopez. However, CCNY responded by scoring 14 straight and took a 14-11 lead after a three-pointer by Xavier Garvin. CCNY (7-18) would extend its lead to 22-14 after a pair of Garvin free throws with 11:26 to play in the first half. York once again responded with a run and re-took the lead when Esownune converted a three-point play it put the Cardinals up 26-24 with 8:07 to play in the half. The Cardinals never looked back from that point forward. A three-point by Jeremiah Fuller gave York its largest lead of the first half (40-29) with 3:10 to play. The Cardinals would take an eight point advantage (42-34) going into the locker room. York continued to dominate in the second half, leading by as many as 24 before CCNY cut into the lead late.
“After we fell behind early, I told my team not to panic,” said head coach Ronald St. John. “They were able to hold their composure and they adjusted well. Once we took the lead again, I knew we would be ok.”
Esonwune has now recorded 33 blocks in his last three games and has 15 straight double-doubles. The nine three-pointers by Hamilton-Lopez was a career-high. Also contributing for York was Shamir Wilkinson who added 13 points and six rebounds and Fuller who finished with ten points.
Gonzalez led CCNY with 25 points, while grabbing seven rebounds and Brendan Barile added 22 points.
“We have a new challenge to prepare for,” said St. John. It’s two games for the CUNYAC championship so anything can happen. Hunter is a very good team so we have to be ready to play.”