The College of Staten Island men’s basketball squad won their program-best 15th-straight game on Saturday, advancing to the 47th Annual CUNYAC/Con Edison Men’s Basketball Championship Semifinal in the process, turning back John Jay College, 85-65, at the Sports & Recreation Center. The top-seeded Dolphins (22-4 overall) will await the winner of No. 4 Baruch College vs. No. 5 Lehman College, which tips off later today. The Bloodhounds finalized their season at 12-14 overall, 4-8 CUNYAC.
Despite the final, it was John Jay that put the early scare into the Dolphins, taking as many as an eight-point lead over the first 10 minutes of the first half. The visitors did most of the damage via a 15-6 run over seven minutes, to take a 19-11 edge with 10:49 to go in the initial stanza. Isaiah Holman ripped off three baskets in the run on transition lay-ups, while teammate Jerome Alexander buried a pair of jumpers to lead the surging Bloodhounds.
The Dolphins, however, stayed the course, responding with back-to-back buckets by senior T.J. Tibbs, the first from long range, to start a numbing 23-5 run over the next six minutes. Tibbs would convert a four point play in the middle of the run, while Jordan Young blasted his way to two layups off of offensive rebounds, part of 20 total on the night for the senior. After a Kris Owens basket got JJC back to within 10 points at 4:01, CSI ended the frame on a 10-5 run, aided by another pair of long-range bombs from Tibbs and Bloochy Magloire, to put the Dolphins up 46-31, their biggest lead, at intermission.
CSI left little to doubt in the second frame ballooning their lead to 24, 64-40, at the 12-minute mark of the second frame. This time sophomore Magloire did the damage, using his 4-for-4 performance from behind the arc in the second stanza to cushion the lead. Matt Van Manen’s transition bucket at 5:52 gave CSI their largest lead at 79-52, and from there JJC was able to chip away at the CSI lead, resulting in the 85-65 final.
The win by the Dolphins broke the previous record of 14-straight Dolphins wins in 1983-84, and marked a tie for the highest CSI win total ever under Head Coach Petosa, at 22. CSI had three players score 20+ points, led by Magloire’s 26 markers on 10-of-16 shooting. Young added 24 points and 20 rebounds, as CSI held a 50-30 overall advantage on the boards. Tibbs finalized with 21 points, six rebounds, and a team-high six assists. Jerome Alexander led the way for the Bloodhounds with 24 points, while Jamar Harry chimed in with 17 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
The Dolphins will advance for the second straight year to the conference semis on Tuesday, February 21. They will play at 6:00pm against either Baruch College or Hunter College. CSI defeated Baruch College, 70-69, in their only meeting on January 14. they defeated Hunter College, 83-66, in their lone meeting with the Hawks on January 27.