The College of Staten Island men’s basketball squad used season-high point totals from Jonathan Chadwick-Myers and Will Fonseca to score a lop-sided, 92-74, win over Hunter College in the CUNYAC/Con Edison Men’s Basketball Postseason Tournament Semifinals played at the Nat Holman Gymnasium at City College of New York. CSI, 25-2, will advance for the fourth-straight season to the CUNYAC Championship on Friday evening by virtue of the win, while the Hawks’ season finalized at 12-14.
The teams battled through two highly-competitive regular season games this season, both won by the Dolphins, so the wisdom going in was that the semifinal would hold the same fate. The first few minutes proved correct, as it was Hunter that opened up a modest 7-4 lead with 3:08 elapsed. HC leading scorer and senior Frankie Drayton opened the scoring with a quick three-pointer, part of 30 points on the night for him. CSI shot just 2-8 in that stretch, but soon the rust shook off and CSI would exercise its authority.
After a pair of missed attempts in both directions, Chadwick-Myers cur to the lane and buried a lay-up, starting what would ultimately be a numbing 20-3 CSI run that would span the next seven-plus minutes. The stifling CSI defense was smothering, forcing the Hawks into a 0-6 clip during that stretch with four turnovers. On the other side, CSI earned a host of second chance points, thanks largely to an 11-0 advantage on the offensive glass that the Dolphins built up in the first half.
After a Andres Arrieta lay-up stopped the Hunter chill from the floor, CSI attacked again, posting a 13-2 run over another four-minute chunk, giving the team a 37-14 lead with just 3:41 to go in the first stanza. Hunter was able to close from there on a healthy 11-6 spurt, but CSI still had a commanding, 43-25, halftime edge.
Hunter tried to claw their way back in the second frame, but after closing to 15, 47-32, with 17:25 remaining, CSI again went running, this time threading together a 14-4 run over the next three-minutes, highlighted by a pair of Fonseca inside drives, ballooning the CSI lead. The see-saw second half then saw Hunter close again to 17 points, before CSI again surged. Benefitting from a Daniel Sokolovsky technical foul, CSI’s Frankie Schettino and Bloochy Magloire connected on four straight freebies to give CSI what would be their biggest lead, 80-52, with 6:36 to play.
From there, Hunter worked in vain to get back into the mix, ultimately finalizing to close to within 18 points at the buzzer, 92-94, with most of both teams’ substitutions patrolling the court.
CSI shot 51.5% from the field, shooting a blistering 63% in the second half. Chadwick-Myers finished with 30 points on 13-23 shooting, while Fonseca powered for 25 points on an 11-13 performance from the field. Javon Cox chimed in with 14 points, while Bloochy Magloire, who took over second place all-time on the CSI scoring list, surpassed former Dolphin Jordan Young with 12 points. Another record was crushed tonight, as freshman Schettino bagged 11 assists, bolstering him to 197 for the season, a new CSI single-season record, breaking Hall of Famer John Cali’s former mark of 187 set in 1998-99.
Hunter got a spirited final performance from Drayton, who finished with 30 points and eight rebounds. HC’s Jerrell Antley was the only other Hawk in double figures with 12 points. CSI enjoyed a comfortable 44-34 rebound advantage and forced 20 Hawks turnovers.
For CSI Head Coach Tony Petosa, who won his 35th CUNYAC Postseason game this evening, the game was about CSI’s defensive intensity. ”I thought we did a really nice job defensively on the ball tonight. Drayton is a terrific player, but we didn’t allow him to control the game and that was important. Our defense helped us make plays the other way and kept them from hurting us.”
The win for CSI puts them in the CUNYAC Final for the fourth straight year. CSI lost the big game in 2011 to Medgar Evers College, but has since won the last two CUNYAC titles, defeating MEC in 2012, and posting a victory last year against John Jay College. CSI will face the winner of #2 York College vs. #6 Lehman College which is not final as of press time. The game will be played on Friday, February 28, at 8:30pm, also at CCNY’s Nat Holman Gymnasium.