Bronx, NY | The College of Staten Island women’s basketball team will end the CUNYAC Regular Season positioned no lower than second place and on a CUNYAC win streak, as they defeated Lehman College on the road this afternoon, 81-71. The win, CSI’s third-straight, lifted the Dolphins to 19-5 overall and 13-3 in the CUNYAC, while the Lightning fell to 14-9, 10-4, respectively.
While mathematically the Dolphins are still in contention for the CUNYAC Regular Season Championship, they would need a Brooklyn College loss on Tuesday to do it. Brooklyn is a heavy favorite against York College, who they beat previously this season, 73-35. CSI, however, is locked into the No. 2 seed in the conference standings, meaning that they have earned a bye into the CUNYAC Semifinals at CCNY on February 21.
As for today’s action, CSI stumbled a bit out of the gate, trailing for the game’s first seven-plus minutes before an Angelique Price three gave the visitors an 18-15 edge with 2:17 to go in the initial frame. Before that, Lehman led by as many as five on a pair of occasions as Aliyah Dorsett and Ayanna Behagen tallied early baskets.
CSI, however, was good for a 10-2 run to end the first quarter, taking a 24-17 lead at the end of the first frame, a run that featured two baskets each from Price and senior Christina Pasaturo.
CSI continued the run into the second frame, as Lehman was held without a field goal for the first four minutes, helping the Dolphins to a 34-18 edge, helped along by two-straight Samantha Flecker three’s. It didn’t come easy from there for the Dolphins, however, as CSI hit a cold spell of their own, going 0-7 from the floor with five turnovers in the final five minutes of the second quarter, relying only on free-throws to get them to a 42-34 lead at halftime.
After Lehman dropped CSI’s lead to 42-36 to start the third quarter, CSI came to life again, extending to 12 later on a three-point Pasaturo play and another lay-up from Flecker. With six minutes to go in the frame, Lehman knocked CSI’s lead to single digits again, but an 11-0 run for CSI over the next five minutes gave CSI a commanding 63-44 edge, powered by three baskets and a free-throw from Price. A three by Pasaturo to end the third frame, gave CSI their biggest lead at 66-46, and from there, CSI seemed well on their way.
A spirited late run, capped by a Selena Lopez three got Lehman to within 73-64 with 3:30 to play, and then Dorsett hit two freebies on the ensuing possession cut it to a seven-point game with 3:12 to go. In perhaps the most crucial moment of the game, however, Lehman got the ball back down by seven with just under three minutes to play, but Lisa Fields missed a jumper, and CSI responded with a Flecker three-pointer than seemed to close the door, and the Dolphins would finish up by the same ten points, 81-71.
CSI was led by Flecker’s tremendous 24-point, 16-rebound performance, followed by Price, who had missed the previous two games to come off of the bench for 19 points and four rebounds. CUNYAC leading scorer Pasaturo notched 18 points in the win. Dorsett led all Lehman scorer’s with 24 points to go with four rebounds while Behagen finished with 16 points and eight boards. CSI won the rebounding battle 41-31, but were plagued by turnovers, committing 31 in total next to Lehman’s 16.
The Dolphins will await the results of other CUNYAC games on Tuesday of next week before they learn their playoff fate. In the meantime, they will officially close the regular season with a non-conference home date against Yeshiva University at the Sports & Recreation Center at 7pm on Wednesday, February 14.