What a difference a month makes.
Clicking on all cylinders and executing on both ends of the court, the Internationalz looked like a completely different team on February 15th, ushering a 96-73 beat down to the New Hope Trailblazers in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Baruch College in Manhattan.
The victory was New York’s second in four games and moved the Internationalz to 3-8 on the season.
The Internationalz dropped a 94-92 decision to New Hope the day before, but came out with a different intensity from the very start. The Internationalz roared out of the gate to take a 28-14 lead after the first quarter.
Tim “headache” Gittens started the second quarter off with a jumper to push the New York lead to 16 points.
Gittens said the Internationalz, still steaming over some controversial calls from the Saturday game, were not going to allow the officials to dicate the game.
"Today we came out with a different intensity.” He said. “We wanted to take it away from the very beginning, and we didn't allow the refs to take the game away."
Gittens certainly contributed, pushing the lead to 45-26 with two free throws with 3:14 left to play in the half. Both teams traded baskets, and New York took a 49-37 lead into the locker room.
The Internationalz came out strong in the third quarter, as Gittens connected on two threes as New York pushed the lead to 58-40 with 10:01 to play.
New Hope countered with a 9-1 run to pull with 10 points with 6:48 left in the quarter, but New York then countered with a 9-1 run of their own. A Gittens three at the third quarter buzzer pushed the lead to 76-60 and began to leave erase any hope of a comeback.
In the fourth quarter, the teams traded baskets, with a Marvin McCullough layup pushing the lead to 83-67 with 8:48 to play. McCullough added a circus layup with 3:41 to make the score 92-69, and from there it was just a matter of running down the clock.
Game notes: St. Anastasias and St. Stan’s faced off at halftime of the contest, and the announcer game the kids streetball nicknames like “Little Yao,” and “Vanilla Shaq.” The players on the Internationalz have developed chemistry, as Gittens described the bond with his teammates: “Being with these guys has been great. I’ve formed frienships for life.” The Internationalz will return to Baruch on Sunday, March 8 at 4:05 pm.