The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team saw their season-opening five game win skein halted at five games, as visiting Montclair State University overcame a series of deficits to force overtime and then come away with an 81-80 win at the Sports & Recreation Center this evening.  The win extended the Red Hawks to 6-1, while the Dolphins slipped to 5-1 to begin their season.
Despite CSI grasping the lead in the final stages of regulation and overtime, it was MSU that flew out to a sizable lead in the opening stanza, as CSI trailed at intermission for the fifth time this season, 38-26.  The visitors did it via a numbing 16-0 run over 6:40 to extend to 33-20 with 2:29 remaining.  The run was powered by a pair of baskets from Michael Price and Sean Young.  CSI stopped the bleeding with a Matt Van Manen lay-in, and Jordan Young’s interior layup right before intermission erased MSU’s biggest lead of the game at 38-24.
It was CSI’s turn to grasp momentum in the second stanza, as the Dolphins began the frame on a 16-5 run over the first 4:30, to close to 43-42, powered by Dale Taranto back-to-back three’s.  After a pair of ties, CSI got their first lead since the early stages on a Bloochy Magliore three-pointer to make it 50-49 in CSI’s favor with 11:41 to play.  From there, the teams traded shots, as the lead changed hands 10 times over the next seven minutes.
A pair of Magliore freebies gave CSI its biggest lead, 67-62, with exactly 3:00 to play, but the Red Hawks refused to go down.  An emphatic dunk by Andrew August put the visitors down by one with 1:23 to go, but CSI countered with a Young lay-up and a free-throw by T.J. Tibbs to go up by four with :25 left.  After MSU cut the lead to two, Tibbs was fouled again with :15 left, but proceeded to miss both ends of his free-throws, allowing MSU to have possession with a chance to tie or take the lead.  With five ticks remaining a Price pass found an open Tyrone Prewitt in the lane to tie the score and a Dale Taranto jumper at the buzzer hit the side of the backboard as time expired, sending the game to overtime.
Again, CSI controlled in the stanza, holding the lead for the first 4:58 of the frame.  Tibbs’ three-pointer got CSI started, and MSU benefited solely from free-throws until the 1:18 mark, when Rodney Freeney’s lay-up put the team down just one, 78-77.  Magliore was fouled for CSI on the ensuing possession, and the frosh knocked both down at the :51 mark to go up, 80-77.  Needing a lift, Freeney stepped up with a 12-footer in the lane to make it 80-79 with :34 to play.
The Dolphins were then called for a controversial turnover, as it was whistled that Taranto stepped out of bounds on a driving baseline pass attempt inside.  The Dolphins argued that Taranto was fouled, but the ball went the Red Hawks way with just 19 ticks left.  Taranto responded by deflecting a would-be inside pass out of bounds with 6 seconds left to break up what would have been an easy lay-up, but the Red Hawks’ August inbounded to A.J. Larkin who cut into the lane and draped a shot over Taranto for the game winner with 2 ticks remaining.  CSI did not get a shot off, falling by the 81-80 final.
MSU was led by August’s 22 markers on 7-14 shooting, adding a game-high 12 rebounds.  Three other Red Hawks finished with 11 points, including Prewitt, who added 10 boards.  MSU dominated the glass finishing with a 56-26 advantage, including a 22-6 advantage on the offensive glass.  CSI was paced by Taranto’s 19 points.  Magliore came off of the bench to rip off 15 points, while Young poured in 12 points and 8 assists.  CSI turned the ball over just 12 times next to MSU’s 20.
CSI will get back to action on Saturday, December 11, at 4pm against Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.  CSI has won the last three meetings.