For the third consecutive time to open the season, the College of Staten Island men’s basketball squad overcame a first-half deficit to rally back to win, this time doing it in a 71-68 win over visiting Rochester Institute of Technology in a non-conference test played at the Sports & Recreation Center.  The win lifted the Dolphins to 3-0 while the visiting Tigers open their season at 0-1.
It was the visitors that advanced to an early lead, staking themselves to a 7-1 lead over the first five minutes on CSI’s floor as the Dolphins missed their first seven shots from the floor.  After an Anthony Terry open-look jumper gave RIT the 7-1 edge, CSI did respond, asking for a time-out and then proceeding to go on an 11-2 run spanning the next 2:57.  The run was spearheaded by seven points from Bloochy Magliore, who came off the bench to rally the squad.  From there, the game shifted back-and-forth, with both teams trading opportunities.
After six ties and six first half lead changes, consecutive baskets by Marcus Lowe and RJ Kalb staked RIT to a modest, 34-32, lead at intermission.
On familiar ground, the Dolphins came out inspired in the second frame, setting up for a classic second half.  Back-to-back layups by Jordan Young and Matthew Van Manen put CSI back on top, 36-34, and the again, CSI and RIT traded shots.  The Dolphins, however, would not relinquish the lead in the second half, and after a Terry three-pointer narrowed the lead to 44-43 with 14:05 left, CSI spread out a 19-10 run over the next eight minutes to take their largest lead, 63-53, with 6:14 to go.
Not to be outdone, the visitors rallied, posting a 13-5 run over with 2:48, to come to within two, 68-66.  CSI struggled from teh free-throw line in the process, hitting just 3-for-6 over that span while the Tigers where lifted by a pair of Brendan Harder inside layups.
From there, a great finale ensued.  David Hughes notched one of two free-throws to put CSI up by three, 69-66, and after a pair of misses, RIT’s Harder merited a visit to the stripe when fouled and drained bit at 2:27 to put the Tigers to within one, 69-68.  CSI then turned the ball over, but Ronnie Canestro missed an open try to take the lead at 1:54, and even after the Tigers got the rebound, Anthony Terry turned the ball over with 1:15 to go, giving possession back to the Dolphins.
CSI milked the clock, setting up for a T.J. Tibbs three-pointed that rocked off the back iron and back to Tibbs for the clutch rebound with 47 ticks to go.  After a timeout, CSI regrouped, and with time winding down CSI’s Magliore got possession, drove the baseline and put in a tough-angle shot off of the glass and in to give CSI a 71-68 lead with :13 to play.  Down to their last shot and needing a three pointer to tie, Anthony Terry’s attempt was off the mark, and Van Manen corralled the rebound safely to preserve the clutch win.
Fro CSI, Magliore led the way with 16 points along with 4 rebounds, while Young dropped 15 points and six caroms.  David Hughes posted 14 points, while Dale Taranto chimed in with 12 points and three assists.  For RIT, Terry led all scorers with 17 points, adding a pair of assists and four steals.  Justin Heisig had a 15-point, 9-rebound.  CSI finished by shooting 50% (29-58) from the floor, while RIT finalized at 43.3% (26-60).
CSI will be back in action this coming Saturday at 1pm, when they host visiting FDU-Florham in a non-conference tilt.