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Brooklyn College’s dramatic rebound - Squad comes back from 13-point deficit to shock Cougars – QNS.com

Brooklyn College’s dramatic rebound – Squad comes back from 13-point deficit to shock Cougars

By Robert Elkin

When schools and teams are located near each other rivalries build up. And students from each of the competing schools come out in force rooting for each other. So was the case last weekend when Brooklyn College came from 13 points down with 17:32 left in the second half to pull ahead 68-66 and defeated Medgar Evers, 88-81 at the Bridges’ gym to end their season with a 10-14 overall record, including 2-11 in the City University of New York Athletic Conference. The loss dropped the Cougars to 9-16, including 5-8 in the circuit. Both teams failed to qualify for the CUNYAC post season tournament. “We played typical Brooklyn College basketball in the Battle of Brooklyn and Battle of Bedford Avenue,” said Brooklyn Coach Steve Podias. “We’re down, we’re home; the place is going crazy. After it was 37-24 in favor of Medgar, we relied on our press. It’s amazing what emotion could do for you. We turned it up a notch. We were more aggressive on our offensive attack instead of settling for jump shots early in the game.” Coming into the game, Medgar Evers’ Coach Merrill Davis knew that all his team needed was a victory to put them into the tournament with an automatic bid at stake for the winner to advance into the NCAA Division 111 tournament. But the Bridges’ press sent the Cougars home. Coach Steve Podias felt great in his team avenging an earlier loss against the Cougars. With eight of 11 players returning for next year, he anticipates a tremendous improvement from his team. “I see a growth of young players coming back,” Podias said, after the third year in a row that his team failed to qualify for the tournament. “We showed good chemistry and I like the maturity of our team.” Leading the new faces this past season was Thomas Guerin, a 6’1” freshman who played his high school ball at St. Edmund’s Prep. “I had a decent year for a freshman,” Guerin said. “I have to credit my teammates who gave me the ball, to put myself in a position to score and make the plays I did this year. I couldn’t have done so well without them.” Guerin improved in every phase of the game during the season and had a tremendous season. “Every chance I got I worked on my individual skills,” he added. “I have to continue to improve next year.” “We showed people that we are definitely on the rise for next year,” Podias added. “Some of the close losses during the year were due to the fact that we were playing together for the first time.” The Brooklyn College athletic department honored their three graduating seniors-Miguel Lopez, Richard Martin and Corey Clark-prior to the start of the game. Neighborhood rivalry weekend continued last Sunday at the Peter Aquilone court of St. Francis College as the Terriers and Long Island University clashed for their second time this season in the double round robin Northeast Conference. Both colleges located in downtown Brooklyn are walking distance from each other. The Terriers won the first game at LIU, 68-52. Both teams presently possess under .500 records, are struggling, but can still vie to qualify into the post season tournament with an automatic bid into the Division I tournament at stake. During the final two weeks of the regular season anything can happen. It certainly showed in last Sunday’s regular season thrilling game, won by the Blackbirds, 82-79, when James Williams hit on a three-point shot with two tenths of a second remaining in the five minute overtime.. The fans were cheering at every basket and went orderly wild after the contest. The Terriers fought back from a 12-point deficit and to tie at 73-73 on Allan Sheppard’s three-point shot with one tenth of a second to go in regulation time climaxing a tremendous comeback. Williams received a Most Valuable Player award trophy of the exciting contest. Especially with those long-range shooting at crucial times. Williams practices a great deal on his long-range shooting in the gym. In fact, he converted five of 11 three-pointers on way to a game, season and career high 33 points. “Any time I can get a good look at the rim I let it (the ball) go,” Williams assessed about his winning basket. “We work on shooting off the glass,” LIU Coach Jim Ferry said. “James really stepped up for us. He took the big shot and it went in. “It was another Battle of Brooklyn game. Every one of these games are crazy. In my first year herewe lost 142-140. Last year, we got down by 22 points but came back and won the game. The game is never over until the horn sounds.. “Both teams played extremely hard and really focused. They gave everything they had.” The game was similar to the one three years ago when St. Francis edged LIU, 142-140. “It was a very similar type of game with a lot of ‘threes’ at the end but this game rivaled it as one of the really more exciting games,” noted Athletic Director Ed Aquilone. “It came down to the last shot (as time was running out).” Despite the 6-20 overall record, the coaching staff is very pleased with the progress of the players with eight new athletes on n the roster. At the beginning of the season, Coach Brian Nash was trying to look for combinations to put on the court. They all played well. They lost some tough games and dropped 12 in a row to start the season. By virtue of last week’s game, the Blackbirds increased their record to 8—16, including 4-9 in the league. “It doesn’t look promising that we’ll get into the Conference tournament,” said Aquilone. “You never know. As Yogi (Berra, former Yankee catcher) said ‘it ain’t over until it’s over.’” “We’re still fighting to get into the tournament,” Ferry said. “It’s been a hard fought year with a ton of injuries. They are still focused.”

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