The College of Staten Island men’s basketball squad punched their ticket to the final of the 47th Annual City University of New York Athletic Conference / Con Edison Men’s Basketball Championships at the City College of New York’s Nat Holman Gymnasium with a 73-63 victory over No. 4 Baruch College. The Dolphins, currently ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Atlantic Region and riding a program best 16-game win skein, advanced to 23-4 overall on the season, while the Bearcats finalized their season 14-13 overall.
“I have been here for four years,“ said senior captain Jordan Young, who had his second straight 20+ point game of the 2012 Championships. “We fell short last year and that really hurt. Like Coach Petosa said in the locker room, this ‘W’ is good but it’s not about this ‘W’. It’s all about the win on Saturday and without that we won’t be satisfied.”
The Bearcats (14-13) scored the first basket in the opening minute on a Justin Giryluk layup, but the top-seeded Dolphins took over in the first half from there. The home team on the scoreboard, CSI buried six treys in the period on 14 attempts. Sophomore all-star Bloochy Magloire nailed three of those trifectas and led all scorers with 11 points at the half. The Dolphins two senior all-stars, T.J. Tibbs (8 points, 3 assists) and Jordan Young (7 points, 4 rebounds) also led the charge on both ends of the floor. CSI forced eight BC turnovers in the first half.CSI led by as many as 15, 33-18, with 6:35 remaining before the Bearcats went on a 9-0 run, as they received an unexpected boost off the bench by freshman forward Adam Elfassi with six points to help get Baruch to within six, 33-27. Despite connecting on only one field goal in the final 6:30 of the frame, CSI nursed a 37-27 lead at intermission, thanks to four straight free-throws by Young.
The Bearcats then rattled off the first five points of the second half, including a three-pointer by Beauchamp (20 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists) that put him at the top of his school’s record book with 1,557 points in four seasons.
Despite the several scares, CSI always kept the Bearcats at bay, thanks largely to crucial free-throws by Tibbs and Young, and another long-ball by Dale Taranto. Young, however, was the driving catalyst going 11-13 at the charity stripe, including 4-4 in the final two minutes of the contest, when CSI ballooned their lead to as many as 11 points, as the Bearcats were forced to foul.
“I am honored but I owe a lot to my coaching staff and my teammates,” continued the always humble Young. “I get better everyday and it is because of my coaches and teammates who play tough defense on me at practice.”
Magloire (7 rebounds) and Tibbs (5 steals, 4 assists) each ended up with 16 points to help return CSI to the finals. Petosa, who won three CUNYAC/Con Edison Championship titles between 1996 and 2002, has been on the short side the last three times that CSI has been in the final (2005, 2007, 2011) will have his best chance on Saturday with his team on an unprecedented roll. The 23 wins by CSi are the most by a Dolphins’ team under his tenure.
“We did a good job responding to a team that was playing very well,“ said Petosa who has 347 career collegiate victories. “I was nervous that they might have panicked at some points during the game, but we didn’t panic and that was the key.”
CSI will now await the winner of the second semifinal between No. 6 Medgar Evers College and No. 7 York College, which tipped off at 8pm. The Championship Final will be played on Saturday evening at 5pm at CCNY. Tickets are free but must be obtained for entry. Physical tickets will not be distributed and all tickets must be registered for online at www.cunyathletics.com. – Excerpts of this story courtesy of CUNYAC Athletics Sports Information.