Brooklyn, NY | A 13-0 CSI run with just over two and a half minutes remaining in regulation was able to get the College of Staten Island men’s basketball team over Brooklyn College tonight as part of CUNYAC action at Brooklyn’s Gymnasium. The win, CSI’s seventh-straight, lifted the Dolphins to 9-6 overall and 5-1 in CUNYAC play, while the Bulldogs fell to 8-5, 3-1, respectively.
The back-and-forth game saw a total of 10 lead changes, but none more poignant than when CSI found themselves down, 62-56, with 2:33 remaining. There, CSI rolled out a 13-0 run that essentially sealed the game before late free-throws ended the run and finalized the score.
Before all of that, CSI was able to control the lead for the first five minutes of the contest, using three’s by Stephen Flagg and Christian Taylor to stake an early, 8-5, lead. A three by Michael Tesoriero and a lay-up by David Melman got BC their first edge at 10-8 at 14:17 of the first, and from there BC led by as many as six in the first half.
After a Melman jumper increased BC’s lead to 23-17 with 6:26 to go in the first stage, CSI responded with a 10-1 run over the next three minutes, spearheaded by five Taylor points that included a three, and another three from Andrew Kartalis. From there, CSI was able to keep BC at bay enough to take a 31-28 lead at intermission.
A basket by Adeola Latunji followed by a free-throw from the junior gave CSI their biggest lead early in the second, 34-28, but a persistent Bulldog unit wrestled the lead back with an 8-1 bender over the next three minutes. A three-ball by Noah Shy would expand BC’s lead to 41-37, and the Bulldogs were able to hold that lead for the next three minutes.
Midway into the second half, a lay-up by Latunji, followed by a running jumper by Taylor got CSI back on top, 50-47, and CSI expanded the lead on another Latunji jumper. In a recurring theme, however, Brooklyn would scratch back, and unleashed a 13-4 run, featuring two Orri Cohen three’s to take a 60-54 lead with 4:25 left. Over the next two minutes both teams would add a bucket before CSI’s fateful closing run.
Taylor got it all started with a three at 2:23 to cut the lead to 62-59, and after a turnover and foul, Taylor sank two free-throws to close the gap to just one. BC turned the ball over again on a Latunji steal and he dished to Taylor for a lay-up that got CSI up, 63-62, with 1:33 to go. BC answered with a missed three from Shy at 1:05, and CSI then inserted a dagger by whittling down the shot clock, and closing it with a Latunji lay-up off of a feed from Taylor to give CSI a 65-62 lead with just 37 seconds to go.
BC had time to get an equalizing possession, but Cohen would turn the ball over seconds later, and now forced to foul, Taylor sank another two free ones to make it 67-62. BC would miss another three and Latunji would add two more via the stripe with 24 ticks to go to give CSI their biggest lead, 69-62. Both teams traded turnovers from there before Tesoriero was fouled with two seconds left while shooting a three. BC ended the run with the three free-throws, but not before CSI had secured the win. BC went 0-2 from the floor with four turnovers in the final 2:33.
CSI was led by Taylor’s 29 points on 10-15 shooting, adding six rebounds and six assists. Latunji was not far behind, adding 25 points on 9-of-15 from the floor and a team-high 13 rebounds in the effort. The rest of CSI’s team had a rough shooting night, connecting on just 5 of 31 shots (16%) from the floor and just 1-7 from the free-throw line (14%). As a team, CSI shot just 39.3%, but held the Bulldogs to just 31.4% on their side (22-70). BC was led by Tesoriero’s 19 points, while Shy and Cohen each added 12. Melman was the team’s rebounding leader, with nine.
CSI will now take a seven-game win skein back on the road on Wednesday, when they travel to face Lehman College in further CUNYAC play.