By Dylan Butler
“I like being in situations like that, it puts me to the test,” said CUNY's leading scorer. “Can I stick up to the pressure? I like the pressure.”
Taylor, who went 4-for-4 from the free throw line and scored on an up-and-under move to cap the scoring for York (11-3, 7-1), also enjoyed going head-to-head with CCNY's scoring leader, Cardozo grad Lauren Cargill, who led CUNY in scoring last year as a freshman and had 16 points and 10 rebounds against York.
“People look at it as No. 23 vs. No. 23,” said Taylor, who is also second nationally, averaging 26 points per game. “It puts a lot of pressure on me.”
But while Cargill was a one-woman show for City College (6-9, 5-3 CUNY), it was yet another balanced effort by a York team that features just six players.
“Tamara is very generous and unselfish,” said York head coach Jackie Smith. “I don't like to put the pressure on any one player. I always focus on the five players on the court. I won't deny I'd miss her 26 points per game, but we've been very fortunate to have other players step up.”
Point guard Garrianne Brown was one of those players who helped lead the undermanned Lady Cardinals to first-place in CUNY's South Division. But a head injury a couple of games ago forced her out of the lineup and she has yet to be cleared to play by doctors.
But sophomore Camille Brown stepped up in Garrianne Brown's absence. While her stats weren't outstanding, the 5-foot-5 Evander Childs alum did a great job of running the point with poise and composure.
“In this game, Camille Brown held down the point guard position for 40 minutes,” Smith said. “She played hard, executed the plays and distributed the ball.”
CCNY, which trailed 24-21 at the break, went on an 8-0 run buoyed by six straight points by Cargill, to take a 30-36 lead. But a 10-foot jumper by Nicole Perry, a Taylor free throw and a steal and a layup by Karin Brown gave York a 31-30 lead less than a minute later.
Each team exchanged leads for most of the second half, but City College could not regain the lead in the final 6:31, thanks to a 1-for-4 performance from the free throw line. The Beavers were 52 percent from the line and shot just 31 percent from the field.
York wasn't much better, shooting 50 percent from the line and 32 percent from the field. But the Cardinals did get the ball into the hands of Taylor at the end of the game, and that proved to be the difference.
“There are a lot of good players in this league,” Smith said. “I don't know if [Tamara] is the best, but she's one of the best.”