The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team made it to the Championship leg of their own Tournament of Heroes for the third straight year, this time by virtue of an 83-52 win over visiting Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, played this evening at the Sports & Recreation Center. CSI (6-1) will face Methodist University in the final, an 86-71 winner over SUNY Institute of Technology. SUNYIT will face MCLA in tomorrow afternoon’s consolation game at 1pm, with the championship slated for a 3pm tip.
CSI led most of the evening in their half of the doubleheader. Consecutive baskets by Jonathan Chadwick-Myers and Javon Cox gave the Dolphins an early 11-4 lead, before the Trailblazers came roaring back with an 8-0 run to take a 12-11 lead, powered by five straight John Jones points. The modest lead, however, would prove to be MCLA’s last, as CSI responded with a 14-5 run over the next eight minutes to cushion their lead. Aiding in the scoring streak was a Bloochy Magloire three-pointer, his first this season after missing CSI’s first six games.
Another 10-0 run by CSI gave the home squad its biggest first half lead, 40-21, with 2:30 to play, and the Dolphins took a 43-28 lead into the locker room. After trading early baskets, CSI seemingly closed the door with another numbing 9-0 run over five minutes to extend to a 57-33 lead. CSI led by as many as 31 points on a pair of occasions, including the final 83-52 count.
The Dolphins, who shot 51.7% for the contest, also did a solid job defensively, blocking a total of 12 shots, the second-highest single game mark in school history (CSI registered 13 blocks on 1/30/91 against CCNY). Javon Cox led the way with seven shots defensed, tied for the school single game record and the most since Neville Lestrade’s seven markers in 2004.
CSI was led by Chadwick-Myers’ 18 points, while Magloire’s debut saw 17 points, three assists and a pair of blocks. Dylan Bulger led the rebounding charge with 12, as CSI edged MCLA on the boards, 48-39. The Trailblazers were led by Jones’ 17 points, which included five steals as well. Mired in poor shooting, however, the Trailblazers shot just 26.2% from the floor.
In the earlier matchup of the evening, the Monarchs of Methodist University (2-6) led wire to wire and dominated play in the paint to score an 86-71 victory over the Wildcats, who fell to 0-8 on the season.
Methodist junior Bryan Hockaday and Freshman Brandon Monk were dominant down low for the Monarchs as Hockaday had a double-double off the bench, tallying 10 points and 10 rebounds. Monk had a team high 18 points to go along with 8 rebounds of his own.
While Methodist out rebounded SUNY IT, 50-36, their offensive attack was paced by six double-figure scorers with Monk leading the way with 18. Sophomore Desmond Parker and Freshman Keemon Ingram added 12 each; Freshman Christian McRae had 11, while Hockaday and Senior Kyle Combs each had 10 off the bench.
SUNYIT threatened a pair of occasions, but a heavy 20 turnovers and being out-rebounded 50-36 hurt the young squad. Sophomores Desmian Greer and T’Andre Richardson paced the offensive attack with 26 and 21 points respectively.
In-between games tonight, CSI honored the memories of Terrance Aiken, Scott Davidson, and Tom Hannafin, three former student-athletes and basketball players who perished in the attacks at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The Tournament of Heroes was established in their honor in 2002. CSI has never won the Tournament, and will look to do so tomorrow on their third consecutive trip to the final.