Another game, another that came down to the buzzer for the College of Staten Island, as the Dolphins erased a 10-point second-half deficit to beat visiting Lehman College, 67-66, at the Sports & Recreation Center this evening. The win kept CSI perfect in CUNY at 8-0 (13-4 overall) while the Lightning fell to 10-9 overall and 5-3 in CUNY.
In a game where Lehman College led most of the way, the visitors shot out to an early, 11-3, advantage on three straight three-point baskets Jonathan DeJesus and a pair from Samuel Batista. The hot Lehman touch continued after CSI cut the lead to four on a pair of occasions, as the Lightning continued to counter with baskets from Daniel Rock and another Dejesus three-ball. CSI cut the deficit down to one, 19-18, with 10:10 to go on a Dale Taranto three and a Bloochy Magliore running layup, but again Lehman had an answer going up by as many as eight, 32-24 with 1:22 to play on a Chukwuma Ndukwe inside drive.
Lehman led by five at the break, but pulled up by 10 via an 11-6 run, and with 14:55 to go, Lehman led 45-35. A pair of Magliore three-point bombs cut immediately into the lead, and later, at 9:26, another Magliore three and a Louis Valdes jumper got CSI down by one, 52-51.
CSI grabbed its first lead on yet another Magliore three, part of a 6-for-7 shooting performance in the second half, and from there the two teams traded shots. The teams traded leads until a Jordan Young layup made it 63-62 in CSI’s favor with 58 ticks left. On the ensuing possession, LC’s Dwight Nangle caught a rebound and nailed a put-back with :39 to play and was fouled. He completed the three-point play to make it 65-63 in the Lightning’s favor.
Nangle followed by by fouling CSI’s Dale Taranto on the next series, but the CSI junior only hit one free-throw to cut the lead to 65-64 with 27 seconds to play. With 22 seconds to play, Taranto fouled Victor Garcia, who made the back-end of the two free-throws to make it a 66-64 game.
With CSI down to a final possession, first year junior T.J. Tibbs, who to that point was 0-for-8 from the floor dribbled through the right side and floated a layup over LC’s Batista, who caught Tibbs and spilled him to the ground, giving Tibbs a chance to complete a three-point play with a hair under 10 seconds to play. Tibbs nailed the freebie, and on the ensuing possession, Lehman’s Alain De La Cruz got passed the defense and put up a running layup in the lane. The layup kissed two hard off of the glass and in fitting fashion, Tibbs gobbled up the rebound for CSI as time expired.
CSI shot 52% in the second half to outscore Lehman in the final stanza, 38-32. The Dolphins were led by Magliore’s 22 points, while Jordan Young notched 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Taranto added another 14 points and 9 assists. For Lehman, Garcia led the way with 19 markers while Batista dumped in 17 points and DeJesus added an even 10 points and 10 rebounds.
CSI will next be in action on Saturday, January, 29, when they host Hunter College at 1pm at the Sports & Recreation Center. The game will be preceded by CSI’s first-ever men’s basketball alumni game, which will tip-off at 11am.