Baruch Stays Alive, Knock Off Medgar Evers to Advance to Tuesday's 6pm Semifinal vs Lehman

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They say in college basketball the hardest thing to do is to defeat a team three times in a season.

The Cougars of Medgar Evers discovered that first hand after falling to the Baruch College Bearcats, 91-78, in a CUNYAC second round game on Saturday night in Brooklyn, New York.

Prior to tonight, the Cougars defeated the Bearcats twice, including overtime the first time they played this season. Tonight, the Bearcats came out on top for their second postseason win in as many days under the new tournament format.

"Tonight was a tremendous win and I am so happy for our kids," said Head Coach John Alesi.  "We had a good game plan and we executed it very well. Medgar Evers is a very good team and we knew we would have to play well to beat them on their court. I'm so proud of our guys for the way we competed and executed for 40 minutes."

Rookie Doyin Isaac led a balanced scoring attack with 20 points, followed by Chimaechi Ekekeugbor with 19, Raymond De La Cruz 18, and William Sixsmith 13 off the bench for the win that sends the Bearcats to the semifinal round on Tuesday, February 23, at 6 p.m. against top-seeded Lehman College at CCNY's Nat Holman Gymnasium.

The Bearcats led throughout a majority of the contest and behind 13 first half points from De La Cruz they jumped to a 38-33 advantage at halftime.

The key to the game was their start to the second half as they quickly built a 14 point lead (53-39) with 14:32 left as Ekekeugbor (14), Isaac (11) and Sixsmith (11) did most of their scoring down the stretch as part of the team shooting 56 percent (14-for-25) during the second half.

The Cougars rallied late in the game to give their fans some brief hope, but the Bearcats held on for the win, thanks to a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line by Sixsmith in the final 21 seconds.

Matthew Lee, who averaged 42 points per game in the two previous contests against the Bearcats, was limited to eight points tonight in the scoring column.

The Bearcats will now turn their attention on Tuesday night to play the No. 1 seeded Lehman.

"We are looking forward to Tuesday night against another team who has had a tremendous season in Lehman," said Alesi, who has reached the semifinal round in four of his five seasons as a head coach in CUNY.

Tickets for Tuesday's semifinal at CCNY are free but supporters must register in advance by visiting the free CUNYAC ticket link at