It wasn’t quite the three-overtime affair the team’s played to a year ago, but the College of Staten Island men’s basketball squad scored another last-second thriller against visiting Baruch College, taking a 70-69 victory in a game in which they trailed by as many as seven points in the second stanza.  The win lifted CSI to 11-4 overall, and a perfect 4-0 in CUNYAC play, while the Bearcats fell to 8-9, 2-3, respectively.

If the early minutes were any indication, the game was going to be a back-and-forth event all night, as the teams traded baskets like two prize-fighters.  CSI’s Bloochy Magloire’s hot early hand led the Dolphins to seven of their first 12 points, and CSI used a 9-0 run to finally give themselves a little breathing room, up 18-12 with 13:52 to go.  CSI’s lead hit 10 points twice later in the frame, as Dale Taranto put home a layup and a pair of Dylan Bulger freebies set the course, but each time the Bearcats had an answer, the second at 10:15, when consecutive layups by Fuat Yapar and Calvin Jurewicz-Johnson cut the lead to 26-21 with 8:09 to go.

From there the first half ended on two runs.  First, three-balls by T.J. Tibbs and another by Magloire helped an 11-5 CSI run to give the Dolphins their biggest lead of the game at 37-25 with 4:22 to go.  But then Baruch answered with a 13-4 run to end the frame, guided nicely by three straight three-pointers by Rob Goldstein, Mickey Abbatiello, and Johnson.  At intermission, CSI nursed a 41-38 lead.

The Dolphins, who shot over 57% in the first stanza then went cold in the second, missing their first six shots, as Baruch scored seven straight points, improving their run to 20-4, and taking a 45-41 lead on a Goldstein layup.  After CSI knocked the lead down to two, Baruch went up by seven, 52-45, on another Goldstein three and a Jurewicz-Johnson lay-in. 

From there, however, CSI chipped away.  Layups by Jordan Young and Lameik Black kept CSI blow-for-blow with the visitors, and a Black dunk at 7:01 cut the lead to 60-56.  Young then followed with a three-point play, and later, consecutive baskets by Tibbs and Black finally tied the game at 63-63, with 4:30 to go.

Tibbs then hit all ends of a three-shot foul at 4:01 to stake CSI the lead again, and a jumper by Magloire put CSI up 68-65 with 2:34 to go.  CSI, again however, went cold, missing three straight free-throws in-between two great off-balance outside jumpers by Baruch’s Chris Beauchamp, that gave the Bearcats back the lead, 69-68 with 1:11 to go.  With 43 ticks left, Jurewicz-Johnson missed a three-pointer that would have likely been the dagger, and CSI turned around on the offensive.  A year ago, Tibbs hit a game-tying three-pointer in regulation and then a buzzer-beating two to beat Baruch in triple-OT, so the Dolphins found Tibbs again late, and the senior calmly whipped around two Baruch defenders and lofted a short jumper from just beyond the free-throw line that tickled the twine and gave CSI the 70-69 lead with 18 seconds remaining.

Down to their last attempt, Baruch did not get a shot off.  Running out of time, Goldstein tried to race into the paint, but CSI’s Javon Cox caught a piece of the ball, which was gathered by Tibbs, who raced away with the ball to kill the final three seconds and preserve the win.

CSI was led by Tibbs’ 19 points and seven rebounds, while Magloire finished with 18 points (16 in the first half) and Young with 15 and a game-high six assists.  Baruch saw 16 points from Beauchamp to go with 5 rebounds, while Jurewicz-Johnson and Abbatiello finished with 13 and 12, respectively.  Baruch led the rebounding total, 33-28, but CSI committed just 11 turnovers to Baruch’s 14.

CSI will next be in action on Monday, January 16, when they host visiting Kean University for a 1pm matinee in non-conference play.