The College of Staten Island women’s basketball squad gave everything they had and put more than a scare into No. 2 Hartwick College, but the visiting Hawks prevailed in a 71-56 contest as part of quarterfinal play in the ECAC Metro NY/NJ Postseason Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Sports & Recreation Center. No. 7 CSI was the visiting team on its home floor and forced a trio a trio of lead changes and five ties before Hartwick pulled away thanks to a huge rebounding edge and a terrific 60.9% shooting clip in the second stanza. CSI’s season is over at 16-12, while the 20-8 Hawks will face off against the winner of No. 3 Rutgers-Newark and No. 6 Ramapo which is in progress at press time.
The first half of play was wide open for the taking, as both teams battled through shooting woes. CSI shot a chilly 8-for-29 in the stanza (27.6%), faring little better at the free-throw line, where the team connected on just 6-of-14 shots. Hartwick was only marginally better, connecting on just 10-of-26 shots in the frame. The teams battled through a trio of lead changes until Hartwick used a 9-2 run over nearly six minutes, to take what would be their biggest lead of the game to that point, 15-10, with 8:53 to go in the frame. Taylor Vonesek started the rally with a bucket, and then added a three and another jumper as well.
CSI rallied, and over the next three-plus minutes, the lower-seeded Dolphins put together a 9-2 run of their own to pull ahead 19-17, aided by two Lisa Galasso jumpers, including a three-pointer from the top of the arc. The lead, however, would prove to be CSI’s last. A Brittany Dumas three promptly put the Hawks up, 20-19, and after three foul shots, HC was back up by four. CSI was able to pull into a 23-23 tie at 2:36 thanks to a Megan Myhre three and a single free-throw by senior Olivia Tierno, but the Hawks would score the next four markers and take a 27-25 lead into the lockers.
To that point in the game, Hartwick was enjoying a huge, 33-14, edge in rebounds, but 17 turnovers were plaguing the Hawks, and keeping CSI within reach. In the second half, however, the Hawks were sharper at the outset, and an 8-1 run after CSI tied the score, highlighted by back-to-back Maria Foglia three’s gave Hartwick its biggest lead, 35-28, with 17:07 to go. CSI refused to go away, and a Myhre three and foul shooting got CSI to within one 39-38, with over 14 minutes left. After the teams swapped three-pointers (by Foglia again and CSI’s Melanie Johnson), the Hawks went on a numbing 14-5 run over a span of six-plus minutes to take a 56-46 lead with just 7:09 to play.
From there, CSI tried in vain to come back, but failed to cut the lead to less than six. Foglia was critical for the Hawks, at one point connecting for seven straight HC points over three minutes, helping keep the Dolphins at bay. HC canned their final four points from the line to take the win, 71-56, equaling its biggest lead of the game as well.
After shooting just 38.5% in the opening stanza, Hartwick connected on 14-of-23 baskets in the second half, good for a 60.9% mark, finishing the game at 49%. The Dolphins finalized at 30.9%, connecting on just 17-of-55 from the field. Hartwick dominated the Dolphins on the glass, out-rebounding CSI, 54-19, and holding CSI to just two offensive rebounds and zero second-chance points. CSI, however, ended a +16 in the turnover column, forcing 28 Hartwick turnovers to their own 12.
Foglia led all scorers with 23 points, adding 9 rebounds and four assists. Brittany Dumas was equally imperative, connecting on 16 points, 10 rebounds and six of her team’s eight blocked shots. CSI was led by Myhre and Tierno’s 13 points, while Johnson and Fabozzi added 10 each.
For CSI, their season ends at 16-12, their best mark since the 2008-09 season, when they finished 23-6 and as ECAC Metro Champs. For CSI, this was their 9th appearance as part of ECAC Postseason play, and it’s the first time they have failed to exit the quarterfinal round since the 2005-06 season, when they fell to Montclair State, 57-45.
The semifinals and final of the ECAC Metro NY/NJ Tournament will continue this weekend at a site yet to be determined.