Baruch Fends Off Late CCNY Rally for 69-56 Victory, Defense Comes Up Big Again

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Matas Rascius had a big night with 14 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots to lead the men's basketball team to a 69-56 victory over the Beavers of the City College of New York on Tuesday night in Harlem.

The visiting Bearcats improve to 6-2 overall and a perfect 3-0 in the CUNYAC, while the Beavers fall to 2-3 and 1-2 in conference.

The Bearcats took an eight-point lead into the halftime break (35-27) and started the second half with a 16-2 run to lead 51-29 with 11:51 remaining.

They appeared to be on cruise control with a 20 point (53-33) advantage with 9:17 left, but the home team Beavers battled back with a 16-2 run of their own to cut the score to 55-49 at the 4:46 mark on a 3-pointer that brought the crowd to its feet.

The Bearcats responded with jumpers by Matt Feldman and Raymond De La Cruz to go back up double-digits, 59-49, and then stepped up their defense to force the Beavers to miss their next five shots, which include a three 3-pointers, to take back the late game momentum.

De La Cruz then nailed his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 1:19 left to seal the victory. He finished with 16 points and added three steals for another solid effort from the 2012-13 CUNYAC Rookie of the Year.

Five different players scored at least eight points to lead another balanced scoring attack.

Along with 14 points by Rascius and 16 by De La Cruz, the team received 12 points, five rebounds and four blocked shots from Brian McMahon. Brian has now totaled nine blocks in his last two games.

Joshua Vital scored 12 points, grabbed six rebounds and notched one steal. Granville Gittens finished with eight points and three rebounds.

The team shot 42.2 percent (25-for-59) and limited the Beavers to 30 percent shooting (21-for-70).

The Bearcats will finish their first half season schedule before the final exam/holiday break on Friday, December 13 with an 8:00 pm conference contest at York College in Jamaica, New York.