Baruch Wins Fifth Straight CUNYAC Championship, Limit Brooklyn to 18 Second Half Points
The Baruch College Bearcats limited the Bulldogs of Brooklyn College to only 18 second half points to win the 2012 CUNYAC/Con Edison Championship by the score of 65-49 on Saturday afternoon at CCNY's Nat Holman Gymnasium.
The Bearcats (19-9) win their fifth straight CUNYAC Championship and NCAA berth, while winning their sixth all-time championship in team history. Head Coach Machli Joseph improves his CUNYAC Tournament record to an outstanding 20-1.
The Bearcats will discover their first round NCAA opponent and site location on Monday, February 27, in a webcast announcement at 2:30 pm to be officially made via NCAA.com. The tournament is scheduled to begin on Friday, March 2.
The championship game will be televised on Time Warner Cable Channel 197 on Sunday, February 26, at 5:00 pm. It will be available the rest of the year via Time Warner Cable Sports on Demand for free by some point next week.
The championship game was a tale of two halves.
In the first half, the Bearcats struggled in every category shooting only 21.5 percent (8-38) from the field, including 2-of-9 from three-point range. They turned the ball over 12 times and that led to 18 points by the Bulldogs who went on to lead 31-21 at halftime.
In the second half, the Bearcats dominated the action by shooting 52 percent (13-25) from the field and 57.1 percent (4-7) from three-point range. The bench also outscored the Brooklyn bench, 23-3, to give the Bulldogs their first taste of defeat against a CUNYAC opponent this season.
The Bearcats began the pivotal second half by scoring the first five points and later tied the game at 35 after Iyana Abrams stole a pass at midcourt and scored a layup to help turn their momentum in their favor with 14:18 left.
The two teams continued to battle down the stretch, but the next big basket came at 4:58 when Kiara Johnson connected on a three-pointer to give the Bearcats a 50-44 advantage to the delight of the Baruch crowd. She continued her MVP performance over the next two minutes connecting on another three-pointer and six free throw attempts for a 57-47 lead with 3:36 remaining. That was enough to win the championship.
Brooklyn struggled in the second half shooting 22.2 percent (8-36), including missing 11 of their last 12 shot attempts to suffer the loss in their first championship game appearance since 1980.
CUNYAC Tournament MVP Kiara Johnson led the way with 17 points (11-12 free throws). Folashade Akinde narrowly missed a double-double with 15 points, nine rebounds and two steals. Jessica Duleba totaled 10 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Shamika Boyce grabbed nine rebounds and joins Monique Salmon '11 as players to win a CUNYAC Championship and play in the NCAA during each of their four years.
Nicole Francomano led Brooklyn College (21-7) with 15 points and four steals.