By: Adam Zaki
Published: February 8th, 2018
Cross your fingers.
The 20-2 (12-1 in conference) Brooklyn College women’s basketball team seems to be championship bound. The team has been scalding as of late, showcasing a mindset that its best basketball is yet to come.
Brooklyn has won 13 consecutive games. In 2018, all but one of its games were against City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) opponents. Consecutive victories over the College of Staten Island, Hunter College, and Lehman College in late January foreshadow the possibility of this group of players winning Brooklyn College a CUNYAC championship.
Brooklyn College has lost in the CUNYAC championship game three years in a row, and has dropped the championship game five times in the last six years.
The Bulldogs fought with the College of Staten Island on Jan. 17, defeating the then-first place team on their home court. The game included two individual double-doubles by Alexandra Moogan (15 points and 12 rebounds) and Jasmine Hansgen (14 points and 13 rebounds) with two additional Bulldogs scoring in double figures.
The most notable statistic in the Staten Island game was the Bulldogs’ play as a unit in the third quarter. The team has allowed multiple opponents to battle back in the second half of games early in the season, but the Bulldogs came out fierce when they needed to most. They went into the final quarter on a 24-9 run and were able to overcome the Dolphins’ best fourth quarter effort. With this victory, the Bulldogs beat their toughest conference competition and earned the first place spot.
In the game against Hunter College on Jan. 19, the Bulldogs defeated the team that handed them their only conference loss of the season. After falling 87-83 to the Hawks in Manhattan on Dec. 1, the Bulldogs thrashed them in the second matchup in Flatbush, 69-55. Hansgen had another double-double, throwing her name in the conversation for the best player on her team. The first-year Bulldog had 13 points and 12 rebounds and was also a defensive presence with four steals.
Hansgen’s play has been centered by effort and tenacity, a role she embraces.
“This is my last year and a half, so I’m just literally giving it everything I have. I’ve always just been a hard worker, and I don’t know, I was just raised to be that way,” the Salt Lake City native said to WBCR.
In the game against Lehman College on Jan. 22, the Bulldogs faced a tough Lightning team that lost in their first matchup on Dec. 8 in the Bronx. Alongside Hansgen’s usual order of a double-double and a side of steals, Moogan and senior Karen Mak also earned double-doubles. Mak and Moogan combined for a monstrous 24 points and 25 rebounds, coming one short of Hansgen as a pair in steals with one a piece.
After her team finished the regular season sweep over Lehman, Moogan spoke to WBCR about the expansion of her role in her third season as member of the Bulldogs.
“I haven’t been shooting well in games or practices recently, and two years ago I would’ve completely taken myself out of the game. This year, I’m not trying to do that anymore,” Moogan said. “So my getting rebounds and playing good [defense] and hyping up my teammates helps me be a better player and makes us as a better team.”
When asked about her team’s win streak, Moogan talked about the intangibles her team has. “This team never stops working, and we really like to win. At the end of the day, we’re all trying to get a W.”
Before blowing out a winless Medgar Evers College team in Crown Heights 93-30 on Jan. 24, the Bulldogs were on the road against the City College of New York (CCNY). In a 60-50 Bulldog win and defense slugfest, the Beavers showcased good team basketball throughout the game and tested the Bulldogs with an effort on both ends of the floor. City College made their game plan clear almost immediately after tipoff, battling Brooklyn with tough defense and consistent ball movement.
In the second meeting between the teams on Jan. 30, the Beavers could not come close to answering Brooklyn’s grit after the first five minutes. The Bulldogs absolutely washed City College, putting on both an offensive and defensive clinic and routing them in a 76-37 win. Freshman Taylor George lead the way in scoring for BC, scoring 17 points and going 7-of-12 from the field; in the first half alone George was 5-of-9 and had 13 points.
Freshman Chanell Jemmott has shown her promise as the sixth player by dominating the post with a monster double-double of 15 points and 19 rebounds, her fifth double-double of the season, in the game against CCNY. Providing relief to frontcourt starters Hangen and senior Weronica Green, Jemmott comes off the bench and shows why she is a major focal point for the Bulldogs for years to come. Going into the game versus City College, Jemmott was shooting 52 percent from the field.
Mak, Brooklyn’s floor general, contributed all over the floor against City College and had 16 points, nine assists, and a season-high 14 rebounds. Mak is now averaging 13 points, five assists, and five steals a game, and opponents have tried everything they can to eliminate Brooklyn’s catalyst. Full-court pressure defense, traps, double teams—opponents have been unable to find a remedy for Mak’s contagious energy. Her ability to dictate the pace of play while contributing mightily and selflessly has been a major reason for Brooklyn College’s success, which the team looks to continue as the regular season goes into its final stages.
“I think my team and I have worked very hard in these past couple of games in the second half of the season, and I think we’re really ready,” Mak told WBCR, speaking of the upcoming CUNYAC tournament.
After the game versus City College, head coach Alex Lang spoke to WBCR about the teams championship hopes and the expectation of an imminent run for a CUNYAC championship.
“We don’t talk about winning a championship, we don’t talk about playoffs, we just talk about getting better and playing our best ball in February,” Lang said. “I know the girls talk about it, and they want to get a chance at playing in the playoffs, everybody does, that’s why you play the game. However, that’s not something we stress on a daily basis. I go crazy even when we’re up thirty.”
After senior night’s festivities on Thursday in a pivotal matchup versus the College of Staten Island, the Bulldogs will finish the regular season against two of CUNYAC’s bottom three teams. They will travel to Manhattan to take on John Jay College on Feb. 10 and to Queens to take on York College on Feb. 13. The Bulldogs defeated both of these teams earlier in the season in Brooklyn by a combined score of 129-64.
The team continued the streak on Tuesday night with a blowout win over Baruch College in Manhattan. Jemmott, Mak, and George each had 14 points. George and Jemmott each made more than half of their shots, while Hangen had another double-double (11 points, 12 rebounds).
The CUNYAC tournament will begin on Feb. 18. Should the Bulldogs continue their winning ways, they will earn a first-round bye and will play in the semifinals at City College’s Nat Holman Gymnasium, where the CUNYAC tournament takes place. Should they make it to the championship, the Bulldogs would earn a bid to compete in the Division III NCAA tournament.