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Big second half lifts Baruch men past Raptors


Screen Shot 2019-12-01 at 16.21.44CAMDEN, N.J. (Dec. 9, 2019) – Baruch College junior guard Adnan Bajrami scored 25 of his game-high 30 points in the second half to rally the Bearcats past Rutgers University-Camden, 71-59, in a non-conferencemen’s basketball game here Monday night.


Baruch improves to 5-2 with its second straight victory, while Rutgers-Camden falls to 3-5 with its fourth consecutive loss. The Bearcats and Scarlet Raptors have played a non-conference game for three straight seasons, with Baruch winning all three games.


Behind six points from sophomore forward Jake Petrik, the Scarlet Raptors raced to a quick 12-3 lead to open the game. They led by as many as 10 points (15-5) before the Bearcats whittled the lead down to one on two occasions in the opening half (25-24 and 30-29).


Rutgers-Camden took a 32-29 lead into the break, but Baruch came out in the second half and scored the first four points on a layup by Bajrami and a layup by freshman guard Sean Donnellan. That gave the Bearcats their first lead of the night, 33-32. The lead changed hands four more times and the score was tied twice before a three-pointer by Bajrami gave Baruch the lead for good, 49-46, and sparked a seven-point Bearcat run. Bajrami had five points in that sequence.


Baruch took a double-digit lead at 61-50 on a layup by Donnellan and kept the margin in double figures the rest of the way, with the biggest margin coming at 71-56.


Bajrami shot 12-for-17 from the floor, including 4-for-8 from three-point range, and also led the Bearcats with seven rebounds and a game-high five steals. Donnellan added 14 points for the visitors.


Senior forward Isaac Destin paced the Scarlet Raptors with 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for a double-double. He also added six assists to tie teammate Arian Azemi, a junior guard, for game-high honors.


Azemi finished with 16 points and nine boards, while Petrik had 12 points on 4-for-8 shooting from three-point range.


Baruch shot 25-for-55 from the floor (45.5 percent), while Rutgers-Camden shot 20-for-48 (41.7). Although the Scarlet Raptors had a 35-30 edge off the boards, they also made 30 turnovers to the Bearcats’ 20.


The Scarlet Raptors play one more game before the holiday break. They host Kean University Saturday at 3 p.m. in a New Jersey Athletic Conference contest.