The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team saw a tough end to its dynamite 2012 campaign, falling at the hands of No. 3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 83-67, as part of the 2012 NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament Round of 16 Friday night at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The win for MIT (28-1) will advance them to the Elite 8 on Saturday night where they will face the winner of No. 2 Amherst vs., No. 9 Franklin & Marshall, while the Dolphins bow out of the tournament with a 26-5 record.
The Dolphins exchanged a pair of early leads with the nationally-ranked Engineers, who were also making their first-ever trip to the Round of 16, but the electric backcourt play of MIT gave the team a 19-10 lead midway into the first half, and from there, the Dolphins could never seem to get over the hurdle. Mired in poor shooting early, six of the Dolphins first 10 points over the first eight-plus minutes were earned at the charity stripe, and while the Dolphins were up to the task of neutralizing MIT big men Noel Hollingsworth and Will Tashman, they could not compensate for the dazzling outside shooting of Jamie Karraker and Mitchell Kates, who scorched CSI for seven-three pointers to help build the early 19-10 edge.
A T.J. Tibbs three-pointer and a Bloochy Magloire lay-up knocked down MIT’s first half edge to 19-14, and another Tibbs basket knocked the lead down to 22-19 with just under eight minutes to play, but it would prove to the closest the Dolphins would come to the lead from there on out. The Engineers responded with a 15-5 run, beginning at 7:28, powered by two Kates baskets and another two downtown bombs from Karraker, opening up a 37-24 MIT lead with 2:40 left in the frame. MIT would take a 44-30 lead into the intermission.
The going got tougher in the second frame, as the Engineers quickly ballooned their lead after a series of Dolphins turnovers. CSI was also marred with fouls, picking up their seventh foul of the half (next to MIT’s one) after just seven minutes in. Meanwhile, the Engineers took their largest lead, 61-39, at the 11:58 mark on yet another Kates basket, completing a 9-0 run for the Engineers.
Needing a lift, CSI then tried to claw its way back, and did an admirable job. With four fouls to seniors Jordan Young, Dale Taranto and Tibbs and freshman Javon Cox, CSI did plug away, finally trimming the lead down to single digits, 74-65, but by then 10 minutes had been shaved off of the clock, which showed just under two minutes left in regulation.
Forced to foul, MIT was up to the task, netting 11-of-12 from the free-throw line in the final two minutes to put the game on ice. Along the way, Tibbs and Taranto fouled out, receiving standing ovations from the many CSI supporters. Young inherited the same treatment when he exited with seconds left in the game.
Leading the charge for MIT was the backcourt duo of Kates and Karraker. Kates finished with 29 markers, adding five assists and four steals, while Karraker finalized with 25 points powered by a 7-of-10 performance from beyond the arc. CSI had four players with double figured led by Young’s 19 points and five rebounds. Bloochy Magloire finished with 17 points while Cox turned in a 16 point, five rebound performance. CSI shot just 43% for the evening, which included a 3-13 performance from behind the arc. MIT shot 53% from the floor, including 55% from downtown (12-22).
The loss for the Dolphins finalizes a terrific season for CSI. The team set program marks for games played (31), wins (26), and saw a school-record 19-game win skein snapped tonight. The Dolphins also saw a 20-game win streak snapped when winning the rebound edge (CSI took a 31-30 edge tonight). CSI is now 5-13 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. This was the first meeting ever between the two sides.