BLOOMFIELD, NJ-- While his team has been a little inconsistent in the early going, Bloomfield College men's basketball coach Gerald Holmes is starting to see signs of what could be a very good squad as the 2019-2020 season progresses.
The Bears won a big Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) game on Dec. 14, rallying from a 16-point first-half deficit to down Caldwell University, 82-77, at the Den, in Bloomfield.
The win improved BC's record to 5-4 on the season. Bloomfield had another important CACC game on Dec. 18, at Post University, in Connecticut before coming home this weekend for out-of-conference games on Dec. 21 and 22 against Franklin Pierce and Bentley University, respectively. Tip off on Dec. 21 is 3 p.m. and on Dec. 22, 1 p.m. The Bears then have off until Jan. 2, when it takes on St. Thomas Aquinas, at home, starting at 7 p.m.
The Bears started slowly in its game against Caldwell. The somewhat neighboring schools have long enjoyed an intense rivalry in the CACC. This time around, Bloomfield trailed by as much as 16 points, as the Cougars ran the floor effectively and took a 28-12 lead midway through the first half.
"We couldn't hit a shot for about six minutes," said Holmes afterward. "Nothing was falling. But I give our guys credit, we started to hit some shots and cut into the lead."
Caldwell led 38-37 at halftime, thanks to a 25-10 run by the Bears to end the half. Bloomfield then came out hot in the second half, outscoring Caldwell, 19-3, to open what seemed like an insurmountable lead, 56-41. However, Caldwell (5-5) rallied back to regain the lead late in regulation.
Bloomfield survived that Cougars run, and a big 3-point basket by Abdallah Elsaleh, a freshman from North Bergen, NJ, gave the Bears the lead for good, and BC held on for the 5-point win.
BC was led by Darin Bellinger, who scored a game-high 23 points while Safee Abdus-Sabur had 17 and Elsaleh finished with 15.
"We seem to go through a dry spell in games, where we can't get our offense going," said Holmes. "That's something we have to improve on. If we can get a win over Post and then do well this weekend, I think we'll be back in the running. But we have to be more consistent."
Bloomfield's win over Caldwell was its third straight in the rivalry and eighth victory in the last 10 games against the Cougars.