Men's Basketball Falls to GCU Lions In Cross-Division Clash

Men's Basketball Falls to GCU Lions In Cross-Division Clash
The Nyack College men's basketball team hosted conference opponent Georgian Court University on Saturday. The game began with a dedication to former Nyack player, coach, and athletic director Dan Bailey as he was inducted into the CACC hall of fame. The Warriors showed fierce effort throughout the game but ended in a 66-82 loss to the GCU Lions, bringing their CACC record to 4-8.
 
At the start of the first half, Shawn Witherspoon and Elijah Farley kicked off the scoring with a jump shot and a 3-pointer, respectively. The Lions went on a quick scoring run that was ended by another 3 from Farley, who then immediately added another basket off a layup. GCU kept pressing back against Nyack, who found themselves at a deficit. Halfway through the first half, Curtis Thompson scored five straight points for Nyack from a layup and three free throws, bringing the Warriors within five of the Lions. Nyack went aggressively after the ball on defense, forcing turnovers to give their offense the chance to score. A steal by Jah-Meer McDuffie led to a layup by Imran Ritchie as the Warriors continued to chip away at the Lions' lead. Thompson scored on a layup in the final seconds of the half, and the Warriors went into halftime down by 12.
 
In the second half, Nyack kept up their aggression on defense, especially under the basket. Carl Balthazar wrestled away an offensive rebound that led to two free throws from Farley, and the Warriors continued to keep the ball alive. A short-range jumper by Witherspoon at 16:30 turned the offensive tide in Nyack's favor, as it was followed almost immediately by a 3-pointer from Deandre Osuigwe. A steal from Farley led to an impressive attempt by Osuigwe at keeping the ball in play for Nyack, and a few seconds later he scored another long-distance 3-point shot on an assist from Witherspoon. The play was repeated in almost the same manner a few moments later, as a steal by Balthazar resulted in another Osuigwe 3-pointer. The score put Nyack down by only five points with 13 minutes left in play.
 
The Warriors continued to draw fouls and converted their efforts at the free-throw line. Defensively, they forced GCU to run out the shot clock multiple times during the half, resulting in Nyack gaining the ball on offense. However, the Lions' offense continued to hold the score just out of the Warriors' reach, again jumping out to a lead they would not relinquish. A layup and following free throw from Ritchie brought Nyack back within seven points with just under five minutes left of play, but GCU pulled ahead again, and Nyack finished the game with a loss.
 
Deandre Osuigwe led the Warriors offense with 16 points. Shawn Witherspoon and Imran Ritchie both contributed 4 assists, and Witherspoon added 5 rebounds.
 
Up next, the Warriors host Post University at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, 1/30.