The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team continued their magical run, winning their 18th-straight game and their first NCAA Division III National Tournament game for the first time since the 1988-89 season, blitzing by Ithaca College, 98-73, at the Sports & Recreation Center this evening’s in front of CSI’s largest crowd of the season. T.J. Tibbs tied a CSI all-time single-game record for 14 assists to go with 24 points, while Bloochy Magloire bounced the Bombers for 26 points and 14 rebounds to lead CSI, which improved to 25-4 overall, matching their all-time highest win total. The Bombers evened to 14-14 to end their season.
After surrendering the first five points of the night, CSI grabbed their first lead at the 15:30 mark of the first half on a reverse lay-up by freshman Javon Cox., to make the score 11-10 in the Dolphins’ favor. Minutes later, after a pair of ties, CSI used a 9-0 run, powered by a Tibbs three and a pair of Jordan Young lay-ups, to take a 23-16 lead at 10:56. The Bombers refused to go away, however, using a Jordan Marcus three and an Andrei Oztemel three to help them go up by a digit on three occasions, the last at 6:06. It would by Ithaca’s final lead.
CSI ended the frame red-hot, using a 10-0 run to take a 42-33 lead with 2:03 to go in the frame, while Ithaca missed seven straight shots and committed a pair of turnovers. The Bombers were able to cut the halftime lead down to six, 44-38, on an Oztemel three-ball at the buzzer.
The Dolphins, however, would never surrender the lead in the second half, and traded baskets with the Bombers on a series of possessions before staking themselves to an 8-2 run nearing the midway point of the stanza, taking a 65-51 edge with 11:34 to go. Tibbs used another pair of baskets to lead the charge again. Later, a 14-6 run spanning five minutes, bookended by Dale Taranto treys, gave CSI a commanding, 92-70, edge, with just 2:09 to play. Ithaca missed six of their final seven shots from the field over the final 4:40 to punctuate the loss.
The Dolphins shot a blistering 62.1% in the second frame, leveling to 55.7% for the game (34-61). Next to Tibbs and Magloire, Young finished with 18 points for the victors, while Cox finished with 14, and Taranto 11. CSI shot 14-of-27 from three-point range, while Ithaca connected on just 10-of-37 from downtown. The Bombers were paced by Oztemel’s 21 markers, adding a team-high eight rebounds. Jordan Marcus added 17 points, while Sean Rossi finished with eight points and a team-high seven assists.
The Dolphins will now move on to the Round of 32 tomorrow night, where they will take on Rhode Island College, a 67-50 winner of Salem State University earlier in the evening at the Sports & Recreation Center. The winner will move on to the Sweet 16 at a site to be determined next weekend.