Wayne, NJ | The College of Staten Island women’s basketball squad won for the third-straight time to open the 2018-19 season, turning back William Paterson University in what was the season and home-opener for the Pioneers, 71-56. The win sent CSI to 3-0 this season, while WPU fell to a season-opening 0-1.
CSI led almost wire-to-wire against the Pioneers, but nursed a small lead before a big third quarter helped them pull away. In the opening stages, Diana Todaro gave the Dolphins their first points, and two more Todaro baskets later in the frame along with a Megan McEwan lay-up and a pair of free-throws from Rosa Perone gave CSI a 13-8 edge, after 7:29.
The Pioneers had time for first-quarter run after a sluggish start, using six-straight points, capped by a steal and bucket by Vianca Soriano, to take a 14-13 edge. Fortunately for the Dolphins they responded quickly, as Kayla Schmitter converted on an inside drive and then after a WPU turnover, banked in another to give CSI a 17-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
CSI never trailed from there, extending to eight on a three-point play by Jacquelyn Cali, 24-16, at 8:02. A three-pointer by Chloe Kasbarian poked CSI’s lead down to two, 26-24 at 4:37, but CSI finished the stanza on a 10-4 run, with McEwan scoring the final five points via the three and a pair of freebies, giving CSI a 36-28 edge at the half.
The intermission was well-needed for the Dolphins, and it served as motivation for a terrific third quarter that essentially sealed the game. A McEwan lay-up gave CSI their first double-digit lead at 40-30 with 8:27 to go in the quarter, and after WPU cut the lead to 42-34 at 6:54, CSI came to life, registering a 19-0 run over the next five-plus minutes.
Todaro scored four-straight to start the run, and Brianna Robisky followed with an immediate three-point play after a basket of her own, extending CSI to 51-34. Hammered by foul trouble, CSI then scored their next eight points from the line before McEwan knocked down a jumper to make it 61-34 with 1:09 to go in the stanza.
The Pioneers rose from there and dictated play in the fourth quarter, but were so far behind it was hard to make up too much ground. After cutting the lead via a CeCe Grace lay-up, Cali returned the favor with a three at 6:04 to put CSI back up, 66-45, and from there the teams stayed even before WPU scored the game’s final four points in the last three minutes of the game to make the final deficit 15 points, 71-56.
Todaro would lead all scorers with 20 points for CSI on 8-14 shooting, adding nine rebounds, while McEwan chimed in with 17 points and four assists. Cali put up 12 points in the win while Schmitter added 11. WPU was paced by Green’s 12 points followed by Julie Rovito’s 11. Plagued by poor shooting, the Pioneers connected on just 1-17 from beyond the arc and just 13-24 from the line (54%). CSI was 79% from the free-throw line, and out-scored WPU in the paint, 28-16.
The Dolphins will now have a bit of a break before their next challenge. CSI will return home to face Misericordia College on Tuesday, November 20, at 7pm in Staten Island, continuing non-conference play to open the season.