The College of Staten Island men’s basketball squad continued to stay perfect in December and also won their sixth straight, coming from behind early to move past Penn State University – Berks, 70-56, in non-conference action in Reading, Pennsylvania. CSI moved to 6-2 on the season, while the Nittany Lions fell to 0-6.
Despite the final, it was the home side that got off to a series of early leads. A Wayne Hartsfield lay-up at 13:25 gave PSU a 16-8 lead, and when CSI tried to counter a few minutes later with back-to-back buckets, a Nate Weldon field goal in the paint matched the lead, 21-13, with 10:25 to go. That’s when CSI broke out of its scoring funk, going on a 23-6 run over the final 10+ minutes to take a 36-27 lead into the locker room. A pair of T.J. Tibbs three-point plays help get CSI the lead, 27-26, before inside transition baskets by Dylan Bulger, Matt Van Manen and Bloochy Magloire gave CSI the 9-point halftime cushion.
CSI never trailed in the second frame, using an immediate 8-2 run to open up its biggest kead, 44-29, off of a Van Manen bucket and point-after. From there, PSU was able to whittle the lead down to single digits twice before CSI would respond. Finally, a modest, 6-1, run by Berks cut the CSI lead to 60-54 with just 3:04 to play, but again the Dolphins would make the play they needed. After PSU’s Tom Smith missed a free-throw that would have knocked the lead down to five, Tibbs missed a driving layup for CSI, but in swept Bulger to gobble up the rebound and nail the put-back to put CSI back up by seven. CSI then forced an immediate turnover, and Tibbs would convert noth ends of free-throws after being fouled, and suddently, CSI was back up 63-54 with 2:12 to go. The Dolphins would add a pair of transition layups off of PSU misses from three-point range to seal the win.
CSI had four players scoring in double-figures, led by Van Manen’s 19 markers to go with 12 rebounds. Tibbs and Magloire finished with 13 points each, while Jordan Young finalized with 12. PSU was paced by Dontez Reid’s 12 points.
The Dolphins will be back in action tomorrow afternoon for their second of two games in Reading. CSi tips off against Alvernia University at 5pm.