The College of Staten Island men’s basketball squad successfully defended one of its championships tonight, defeating Hunter College, 78-65, to clinch the CUNYAC Regular Season Championship tonight. The game, which was supposed to take place this evening at Hunter College, was moved to the Sports & Recreation Center due to maintenance issues at Hunter’s gymnasium. The win was CSI’s fourth straight, and lifted the teams to marks of 19-5 overall and 14-2 in the CUNYAC. Hunter fell to 8-17, 5-11, respectively, and will come right back to CSI this coming weekend as part of the CUNYAC Postseason Tournament Quarterfinal round, where they have earned the field’s No. 8 seed.
The Dolphins exercised control of the game early. Bloochy Magloire hit the Dolphins’ first shot of the game, and a few moments later, Javon Cox gave the Dolphins a 4-2 lead that it would never relinquish. At 15:31, the Dolphins sailed ahead via a 10-0 run, powered by a Jonathan Chadwick-Myers three, two buckets by Magloire and then a three-point play by Cox. CSI appeared seemingly in control, but timely baskets by Lorenzo Brown and Robert Borusiewicz cut CSI’s lead down. Needing another lift, a Herschel Jenkins lay-up and another Magloire jumper helped CSI close the half on a 16-7 run, giving the visitors on their home floor a 37-20 lead at intermission.
The Dolphins continued to be impressive in the second stanza, countering every Hunter basket with field goals of their own, including a couple of great inside drives by Chadwick-Myers, and put-backs by Cox off of offensive rebounds. The Hawks needed a run, and although it took some time they did get one.
Down by 15 after another Magloire three, HC went on an 11-4 run, which featured six points from Lester Amin, including a three-point play that kicked it off. Hunter had narrowed CSI’s lead down to eight, 58-50, with just 8:01 to play. Magloire, however, who turned in one of his best efforts of the season, almost single-handedly put an end to the Hawks chances, knocking down two open three’s. A few moments later, Magloire found Chadwick-Myers for an open-look three and the junior knocked it down to give CSI back its 15-point lead with just 5:17 to go.
Hunter would close the game on a modest, 9-5, run over the final 3:51, but it was hardly enough, as CSI played comfortable down the stretch to preserve the win that clinched the CUNYAC crown. CSI scorched the basket, connecting on 59.3% shooting for the game, one that included a 69.6% mark in the second half (16-23). Magloire led all scorers with 31 points on 12-19 shooting, adding 9 rebounds and four blocks. Chadwick-Myers connected on 16 points and six assists. Amin finished with a team-high 18 points for Hunter.
CSI will now be idle until the opening round of the tournament, which kicks off on Sunday, February 17. CSI will host the No. 8 Hawks at 1pm. In other quarterfinal action, No. 2 Baruch will tackle No. 7 CCNY; No. 3 John Jay College will host No. 6 York College; and No. 4 Brooklyn College will host No. 5 Medgar Evers College.