York Tops NYU in ECAC Semifinals but Falls to Baruch in Championship
The York College men’s basketball team won a hard fought game in the semi-finals of the 2010 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Metro Division Men’s Basketball Championships, defeating New York University 68-61 on Saturday afternoon.
York will now face off with a familiar foe, conference-rival Baruch College, who defeated SUNY Old Westbury in the other semi-final match-up. The championship game will tip-off at 1 pm at SUNY Old Westbury.
The Cardinals led for most of the game but saw their lead evaporate midway through the second half. Trailing 54-52 with 9:18 to play, York was held to just one point over the next four minutes of play. However, the Cardinals managed to stay in the game due to some strong defense and trailed just 57-53 with 5:03 remaining.
The Cardinals tied the game up on a lay-ups by Marcel Esonwune and David Simon on consecutive possessions, making the score 57-57 with 4:18 to play. After NYU’s Carl Yaffe drained a jumper with 3:44 to play, York’s Elijah Evelyn hit a three-pointer that gave York the lead (60-59) and shifted the momentum in its favor. York stifled NYU on offense for the remainder of the game, holding them to just two points over the final three minutes. The Cardinals hit key free throws down the stretch and sealed the victory.
Evelyn led York with 19 points to go along with six boards, while Nicholas Hamilton-Lopez netted 16 points. Esowune recorded a double-double, scoring 13 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and blocking five shots. Ryan Exum finished with six points, six rebounds, eight assists and five steals. Two of the steals came during key possessions in the final minutes of play.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 23-7 and have set a new school record for wins in a season. The previous record of 22 was set during the 2007-08 school year. NYU finishes its season with a record of 17-10.
The Cardinals defeated Baruch College earlier in the season by a score of 89-85 on January 11. York will be looking for its second ECAC title. Their first came back in 1998.
The 2009-10 men’s basketball season ended on a sour note as the York College Cardinals fell to conference-rival Baruch College 93-70 in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Metro Men’s Basketball Championship Sunday afternoon.
The Bearcats (23-7) shot exceptionally well all day, shooting 50 percent from the field for the game and 63 percent in the second half. Baruch also forced 17 turnovers, which they converted into 25 points. Conversely, York could only score two points off of seven Baruch turnovers.
The turning point of the game came midway through the first half. The Bearcats were holding a narrow 14-11 lead with 13:12 to play before halftime, when they opened up a 15-4 run to take a 29-15 advantage. The Cardinals were never really in the game from that point on. York could only get as close as nine points the rest of the way.
Lionel HIlaire was named the MVP of the tournament after scoring 21 points to lead Baruch in the championship game. George Kunkel and Chris Beauchamp each added 18 points and Sean Loftus finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
York was led by Marcel Esonwune who finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. Elijah Evelyn finished with 19 points and six boards.
The Cardinals finish the 2009-10 season with a 23-8 record, which is the most wins in school history.